Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz has announced the Regional Airports Program is now open for applications, providing an avenue to the Scenic Rim Regional Council and Boonah Aviation Incorporated (BAI) to partner with the regional airports program on upgrades.
Scott Buchholz said the Regional Airports program supports productivity and safety upgrades at regional airports around the country and confirmed he had been talking with both Council and BAI in relation to putting forward an application.
“Safety is paramount and there are costs associated with any safety upgrades that need to be met. I know Council is working closely with BAI and I invite them to apply for funding, to assist them in ensuring a safe operating environment and help meet any costs.
Scott Buchholz said he is a big supporter of the Boonah airfield and was acutely aware of the extensive community interest in ensuring the airfield remained open, as well as the benefits to the local community and the broader Scenic Rim.
The Regional Airports Program opens on 24 October and provides grants between $20,000 and $5,000,000 on a 50 per cent funding basis.
“The regional airports program can help deliver upgrades and offset the costs, with funding available for many different projects such as runway and taxing upgrades, safety and operational training and installation of animal fencing.
“The Boonah airfield is an important part of our local region. The value of the airfield was most recently demonstrated during the fire situation across the Scenic Rim, aircraft were able to land, refuel and refill and get back into the air quickly,” said Mr Buchholz.
Mr Buchholz said he was aware of the level of speculation in the district about the future of the airfield, but was confident all parties were working hard in the interest of getting a deal done.
“The airport attracts tourists, those interested in adventure sports, recreational aviation and of course, pilot training and aircraft maintenance,” Mr Buchholz said.
“This is a competitive grant process, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development will independently asses the merits of each application as they come in from across Australia.
“Any application under this program has my full and undivided support, it is important for our local community and economy to work toward improving and maintaining the airport,” Mr Buchholz said.