An exciting milestone has been reached for the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport Development Project this week, with a sod turn event attended by City of Busselton, Federal, State and neighbouring local government representatives.
About the development
The Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport Development Project is a $69.7 million project to facilitate interstate flights to destinations including Melbourne and Sydney, and international passenger and freight opportunities to South East Asia and China.
The Development Project is made possible by investment from the Australian Government’s Community Development Grant Programme; State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, Department of Transport’s Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) program, City of Busselton, South West Development Commission and Tourism Western Australia.
With all funding now secured, the Project works include:
- lengthening, strengthening and widening the existing runway to 2520m to become the second longest runway in Southern WA;
- 4 new aircraft parking aprons and 3 connecting taxiways;
- a new terminal building, and entry statement that embodies the character of the south west region;
- a new internal road network, and parking facilities;
- infrastructure to support the development of freight and other commercial opportunities;
- upgraded aeronautical ground lighting; and
- a new general aviation precinct.
It is expected that the project will be complete and flights to Melbourne and Sydney available late in 2018.
What the airport development means for our region
The development of the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport is a game changer and will be a key driver for the region’s future tourism growth. Historically, the region has been heavily reliant on intrastate visitation, but today we are another step closer to opening up new interstate and international tourism markets, which will benefit all local businesses.
The development will pave the way for freight services and, ultimately, tourism flights, so the region’s agriculture, wine and tourism industries are all set to benefit. The effect of this will be felt by the full suite of other business, service-based offerings and local tradesmen who are all part of the overall visitor economy.
Tourism Research Australia currently estimates that interstate visitors represent 7.8% of the total overnight visitors to the Margaret River region and we certainly believe that domestic flights into Busselton have the potential to increase these numbers. Assisted by the time difference, interstate visitors will be able to maximise their time in the region and make the most of a weekend away. The tourism industry will also have the opportunity to shape the visitor experience and promote all of the wonderful things on offer here from the moment visitors touch down in Busselton.