Bendigo council applies for $4.4 million in federal funds for $9 million airport terminal upgrade.
An upgraded terminal building may help secure sought-after commercial carriers for Bendigo airport, the city’s chief executive believes.
“A bigger, improved terminal would add to the likelihood of securing a larger transport operator,” CEO Craig Niemann said on Wednesday, after the council announced it had applied for $4.4 million in federal funding to extend the terminal.
While reluctant to describe the upgrade as a deal breaker for larger carriers – Mr Niemann said smaller-scale operators could use the airport as is – investment from all tiers of government would give “strong encouragement” to the bigger organisations, he believed.
An application for $4.44 million to the federal government’s building better regions fund was lodged in December 2017.
Bendigo council will contribute $1m, with the overall project cost estimated to be $9.98m.
The council will ask the state government to foot the rest of the estimated cost – about $4.5m.
“It’s a wait and see exercise – we’d love to deliver it at this level,” said Mr Niemann, who expected a decision on federal funding in May or June.
The project will deliver new passenger terminal facilities, including arrivals hall, baggage pick up, check in counters, public concourse, departure lounge, retail and food business opportunities, administration office and business hub/conference room, car parking and extension of utilities, which would also support the development of a future business park on site.
Security requirements, including 3D checked baggage and carry-on baggage screening, will also be installed.
The city opened the redeveloped airport runway in May 2017, which included taxiways, signage, lighting and fencing infrastructure.
Speaking at the official launch of the airport’s new runway in May, Cr O’Rourke said Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney were the most likely commercial passenger routes from the newly-developed Bendigo Airport.
“I think the appetite is more for Adelaide and Sydney, potentially Brisbane, but it’s all about slots that are available at major airports,” Cr O’Rourke said at the time.
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