Up to $5M is available from Regional Airports Program for regional airports or aerodrome owners/operators to enhance aviation safety and accessibility.


Regional Airports Program

The Regional Airports Program aims to improve the safety and accessibility of airports or aerodromes in regional areas of Australia by assisting airport or aerodrome owners/operators to undertake essential works, promoting aviation safety and access for regional communities.

The program will run over four years from 2019-20 to 2022-23. It was announced as part of the 2019-20 Budget.



The intended outcome of the program is to support critical air infrastructure that provides a significant benefit to local communities and the region. The benefits will include:

  • improving the safety of aircraft, operators and passengers using regional airports or aerodromes
  • facilitating improved delivery of essential goods and services such as food supplies, health care and passenger air services
  • improving the connectivity of Australia’s regions to domestic and global market opportunities
  • meeting the operational requirements of aeromedical and other emergency services in the region.



The Australian Government has announced a total of $100 million over four years from 2019-20 to 2022-23 for the program. For this grant round, $45 million is available over two financial years from 2019-20 to 2020-21.

The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs (grant percentage), unless:

  • where the applicant (you) and a third party (could include State, Territory or local government or other non-government funding) are both contributing to eligible project costs, the grant amount will be up to 33.3 per cent of eligible project costs
  • The minimum grant amount is $20,000
  • The maximum grant amount is $5 million.


Eligible Projects

To be eligible your project must include eligible activities and eligible expenditure.

Eligible activities must directly relate to the project and can include:

  • works to improve all weather capability of the aerodrome and aircraft safety including:
    • sealing and/or re-sealing and/or re-sheeting of aircraft pavements
    • extending or strengthening a runway, taxiway parking bays and/or related areas
    • repair, restoration and/or reconstruction of the airstrip, taxiway and/or apron, and
    • airside drainage works.
  • works to enhance aerodrome safety for aircraft operations including:
    • installation or restoration of animal fencing
    • provision of navigational aids and safety equipment
    • works to reduce safety hazards at an aerodrome, and
    • provision of safety related operational and/or training manuals and training for key operational personnel.
  • works to better enable night time operations including:
    • installation of runway and taxiway lighting
    • provision of power for aerodrome lighting, and
    • installation of Pilot Activated Lighting Control systems.

You can only spend grant funds on eligible expenditure you have incurred on an agreed project as defined in your grant agreement.

Eligible expenditure items are:

  • costs associated with contractors who undertake project activities
  • the portion of employee costs directly related to undertaking core elements of the project
  • aviation-safety related staff training costs
  • capital expenditure for the purchase of assets including power provisions, lighting and control systems, markers and navigational aids, training materials
  • materials for re-sealing and sheeting, repair, restoration and reconstruction of runway and associated surfaces
  • drainage works
  • the cost of an independent audit of project expenditure (where we request one) up to a maximum of 1 per cent of total eligible project expenditure.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be an owner and/or operator of an existing aerodrome or airport in a regional area in Australia.

and be one of the following entities:

  • an entity incorporated in Australia (including incorporated trustees on behalf of a trust)
  • an Australian local government agency or body as defined in appendix A of the guidelines
  • an Australian State or Territory Government agency or body
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth).

State agencies or other eligible entities may apply on behalf of aerodrome owners/operators. In such cases, the state agency or other eligible entity will be the lead applicant in a joint application and will be wholly responsible for the project, including administering, reporting and acquitting all
project expenditure. Only the lead organisation can submit the application form and enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth.

Regional Airports Program can only accept applications where:

  • the location of your aerodrome is identified as Inner Regional or Outer Regional as defined by the 2016 Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Area
  • the aerodrome or airport’s passenger throughput is below 250,000 passengers (from all flight types) per year (You must provide evidence to substantiate this with your application)
  • you provide evidence from your board or Council (or chief executive officer or equivalent if there is no board) that the project is supported by the applicant organisation, and that the organisation is willing to accept responsibility to complete the project and meet the costs of the
    project not covered by grant funding.



Applications close 12 December 2019.


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