Up to $3M is available from Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program to enhance the safety and accessibility of aerodromes in remote and very remote areas of Australia.


Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program

The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program will enhance the safety and accessibility of aerodromes in remote and very remote areas of Australia, providing year round all weather access that will:

  • improve the safety of aircraft, operators and passengers using remote and very remote airstrips
  • facilitate improved delivery of essential goods and services such as food supplies, health care, community mail and passenger air services
  • complement air services delivery to communities subsidised under the Australian Government’s Remote Aviation Access Program (RAAP) through the Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme, and/or
  • meet operational requirements of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) or operators providing similar aeromedical services.

Safe, operational aerodromes are vital in the delivery of essential goods and services in remote and very remote communities, particularly where road access is unavailable, unreliable or disrupted for extended periods due to seasonal weather conditions. An effective airstrip, accessible all year round, improves the delivery of health care services such as those provided by the RFDS or other aeromedical providers, improves access to work and education opportunities and helps connect residents of remote communities.



The Regional Aviation Access Program (RAAP) provides funding for access and safety upgrades to remote aerodromes, as well as subsidised flights to ensure residents of remote communities have access to regional service centres.

The RAAP includes the following initiatives:

  • Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme
  • Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Program, and
  • Remote Aerodrome Inspection (RAI) Program.



There is a total of $8 million available for this grant round. There will be other grant rounds and we will publish the opening and closing dates and any other relevant information on business.gov.au and GrantConnect.

The maximum grant amount is $3 million, however it is expected that most grants will not exceed $1.5 million. The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs (grant percentage), unless

  • you are an Indigenous Owned and/or Operated Aerodrome. In this case the grant amount will be up to 100% of eligible project costs
  • you and a third party are both contributing to eligible project costs. In this case the grant amount will be up to 33.3 per cent of eligible project costs.


Eligible Projects

To be eligible your 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 re-sheeting of aircraft pavements
    • repair, restoration and/or reconstruction of the airstrip, taxiway and/or apron
    • airstrip drainage works
  • works to enhance aerodrome safety for aircraft operations including:
    • installation or restoration of animal fencing
    • provision of markers and navigational aids
    • works to reduce safety hazards at an aerodrome
    • 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
    • installation of Pilot Activated Lighting Control systems.

The program may also approve other activities.

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 airstrip sealing, re-sealing and sheeting, repair, restoration and reconstruction or drainage works
  • fencing materials
  • the cost of an independent audit of project expenditure (mandatory for grants over $500,000 or where we request one) up to a maximum of 1 per cent of total eligible project expenditure
  • tender design and process costs.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible, you must:

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

and be one of the following entities:

  • a company, incorporated in Australia
  • an incorporated trustee on behalf of a trust
  • an Australian local government agency or body as defined in appendix A
  • an Australian State/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 (excluding Indigenous Owned and/or Operated aerodromes where you are seeking 100 per cent funding). 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.

The program can only accept applications where:

  • your aerodrome is identified as “remote or very remote” as defined by the 2016 Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Area
  • 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 November 2019.


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