The federal government’s budget has confirmed increases in spending on aviation security and regional aviation infrastructure and funds the study for a second Sydney airport site, meeting commitments made in the Aviation White Paper.
As announced in February, the government has allocated nearly $200 million in the 2010-2011 budget to assist with the rollout of new security measures. This includes $28.5 million to introduce new technologies at passenger screening points, including full body scanners at some terminals, $32 million over four years to bring forward security screening at a number of airports served by larger turboprops, and $18.2 million over four years to strengthen cooperation between aviation security authorities in the Asia Pacific region (including $5.1 million this year). The government has also placed $54.2 million aside over two years to install x-ray equipment and explosive trace equipment at certain locations to screen air cargo, as well as the establishment of a regulated shipper scheme.
In addition, Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has announced an extra $5.9 million to extend the Remote Aviation Infrastructure Fund for two years. “The new funding will upgrade up to 19 airstrips from a ‘charter’ safety standard to the higher ‘regular public transport’ standard, with the likely work ranging from the laying of an all-weather runway to the relocation of the airstrip away from hilly terrain,” he said.
The budget also includes $8.5 million for the long term planning process for a second Sydney airport. This study, due to be finalised in the first half of 2011 and run in conjunction with the NSW state government will, the Minister says, “identify potential sites for a second Sydney airport, the additional road and rail infrastructure that will be required, and investment strategies that will deliver this additional capacity”.