International travel could soon be taking off from Newcastle airport

Major airfield works at Newcastle Airport and the Williamtown RAAF Base are about to take off…

The Federal Government has awarded Downer EDI a $164.9 million contract to upgrade and remediate the airfields which will deliver increased airfield capacity for larger civilian aircraft, supporting increased international travel and regional tourism.

Construction is set to start in 2022 and be finished by the end of 2023.

Downer has committed to achieving at least 4.5 per cent Indigenous employment participation in the project.

It will support 300 jobs with an average of about 130 personnel per day.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price is in town to make the announcement this morning and said the Government had committed to a significant investment that would maximise the opportunities for both local and Indigenous businesses.

“The project will maintain and improve critical airfield infrastructure to ensure RAAF Base Williamtown continues to support the projection of Australia’s air power and also enable movements of larger civilian aircraft for Newcastle Airport.”

The Morrison Government is also announcing Australia’s defence industry will deliver an extra $140 million in maintenance and supply-chain support for the Royal Australian Air Force’s fifth-generation F-35A Lightning II fighter.

$80 million is for a five-year contract with BAE Systems Australia for the ongoing support of Australian F-35A operations and $60 million is for the the F-35A Industry Support Program.

“This contract with BAE will establish sovereign maintenance and supply-chain support to the Royal Australian Air Force F-35A fleet located at RAAF Bases Williamtown in the Hunter region, and Tindal in the Northern Territory,” Minister Price said.

More to come.