Airport’s Christmas list: new body scanners, wider runway
WITH Ballina Byron Gateway Airport going through one of the busiest periods of the last couple of years, Ballina Shire Council has the task to allow the terminal to grow to keep up with demand, while keeping the precinct operational.
To keep up with the demand, Byron Ballina Gateway Airport needs to bring some changes. These are the four main projects on the pipeline for the airport:
1. Terminal - Passenger Screening for 2020/21: New screening equipment, which is mandatory due to changes in Federal Government legislation. Ballina Council received two grants, taking the project's budget to a total of $2.7 million.
As a Commercial Services Committee report to council noted, "the difficulty now will be having all these works completed by July 1, 2021, when the new body screening equipment is due to be operational."
2. More carparking and solar panels for 2020/21 and 2021/22: At a cost of $5 million, this plan hopes to add an extra 140 car park spaces to the terminal, relocate the car rental kiosks outside the terminal, install a boom gate and connect the car park to Airport Boulevard.
Construction of the car park is dependent upon timing of the construction works
for Airport Boulevard and the realignment of Southern Cross Drive.
3. Runway upgrade for 2020/21 to 2022/23:
The existing runway is 1900 metres long and 30 metres wide. At a cost of $25.1 million, this project would extend the runway to be widened to 45 metres to accommodate larger aircraft.
But the plan is expected to meet a number of barriers - a substantial amount of Corks Hill would have to be removed, plus Bundjalung midden sites have been identified at the site.
4. Terminal's Baggage Area Expansion for 2021/22 and 2022/23: The $100,000 budget in 2020/21 will allow for preliminary concept works, while a $2m will be required in 2021/22 for construction. It's expected this project will be funded from a $1m grant and $1m loan.
The report will be discussed by Ballina Council at its December 17 meeting.
Ballina councillors will debate a report outlining an updated review of the Long Term Financial Plan for the Ballina - Byron Gateway Airport on their December 17 meeting.