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Aviation sector gets more than $400m in 2024 budget

written by Jake Nelson | May 15, 2024

Treasurer Jim Chalmers hands down the 2024–25 federal budget.

Western Sydney Airport and regional aviation are both set to benefit in this year’s federal budget.

The government will pour $302.6 million over five years, as well as $53.5 million per year ongoing, into Western Sydney Airport, plus $102 million into upgrading regional airports and remote airstrips and $7.5 million into aviation safety measures.

Western Sydney Airport will receive $237.4 million over four years from 2024–25, plus $52.1 million per year ongoing, for border security measures including terminal design, fit-out and commissioning; federal policing; and detector dogs.

$13.0 million will also be provided over five years from 2024–25, and $1.4 million per year ongoing, to “support regulatory oversight functions and Commonwealth preparatory activities”.

“The Government will also provide equity to WSA Co Limited to support completion of Stage One of Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, with the financial implications not for publication due to commercial sensitivities,” the government said in its 2024–25 budget papers.


“The Government will also achieve savings of $8.4 million over five years from 2023–24 (and $1.2 million per year ongoing) by terminating the Regional and Remote Airports Security grant program, and returning uncommitted funding for business case development for Commonwealth facilities to the Budget.”

Supporting infrastructure for Western Sydney Airport is receiving funding commitments as well, including $100 million for rapid buses and $20 million to plan for extending rail links from the Bradfield aerotropolis to Macarthur.

On the regional side, both the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program and the Regional Airports Program will be extended for three more years, receiving another $50 million and $40 million respectively, said Transport and Infrastructure Minister Catherine King, Regional Development Minister Kristy McBain, and their respective assistant ministers Carol Brown and Anthony Chisholm in a joint media release.

“The Government will also provide $500,000 in funding per year to the Remote Aerodrome Inspection Programme, to provide critical inspection services to ensure safety of remote airport operations. The program supports First Nations community aerodromes safety, and allows the Royal Flying Doctor Service and others to safely land in remote communities,” the ministers said.

“We have heard through the Aviation White Paper process just how important these programs are to regional and remote communities and that is why we are announcing additional investments now.

“We will have more reforms to aviation to announce when the White Paper process concludes later this year.”

This will be coupled with additional funding for aviation safety programs including the ATSB, the Ministers said.

“We will provide $3.6 million over three years from 2024-25 to extend and expand the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) rebate program, supporting general and recreational aviation operators to install ADS-B devices in their aircraft, bringing about improved airspace management and safety,” they said.

“The Government is also providing $3.9 million in 2024-25 to support the ongoing safety investigative functions of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.”

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