Increased runways, revamped infrastructure for Rocky airport
ROCKHAMPTON Airport could soon increase the number of arriving and departing flights under a newly-proposed $26 million upgrade of its runways and infrastructure.
The significant pledge comes by way of Katter’s Australia Party candidate Christian Shepherd, who on Monday announced the multimillion-dollar pledge.
Under the plan, an expansion of the airport’s runway apron would accommodate both current and future aircraft demands – including military-based exercises.
“Additionally, it will increase the parking capacity supporting emergency responses during natural disasters,” he siad.
Mr Shepherd explained the potential $20 million expansion would also likely further benefit a number of industries which depended on the region’s gateway to operate.
“This will position Rockhampton to be a significant air service hub including westbound flights to service the health, employment and social needs of western communities within Central Queensland,” he said.
While increased runway capacity delivered an obvious solution for economic rebound, Mr Shepherd added improvements to nearby road infrastructure proved just as crucial.
Canoona Rd, one of two entry points to the West Rockhampton airport, would also be subject to a $6 million upgrade.
It is expected the improvements would further support additional freight for locally produced agriculture bound for international markets.
“The project will involve widening and strengthening the undersized road to suit both light vehicles and multi-combination vehicles.”
Mr Shepherd labelled the proposed upgrades as “vital”, noting the road’s wide accessibility to the terminal, freight facilities, fuel storage, general aviation and Western St ADF barracks.
It would also likely benefit increased traffic which is expected to come as a direct result of works on Rockhampton Ring Rd in coming years.
“It’s vital that we pressure our state Treasury to support projects that make money, not just take money.”
He added while similar projects provided a temporarily boost to local job markets, KAP was committed to supporting projects which created lasting employment and revenue.
The proposed expansions would be a welcome additional to Rockhampton Airport, which just last week unveiled its new security screening system.