The Whyalla City Council are flying high after receiving nearly $100,000 in state government funding for two new projects at the Whyalla Airport.
The funding will see a self-service fuel station and a command centre shed be installed at the airport. The fuel station project is costed at $162,690 while the shed will be worth $38,166.
The state government has committed $81,345 towards the fuel station and $15,583 for the new shed.
The projects have been on council’s drawing board for a number of years. The fuel station will be used by both the council fleet and users of the aerodrome facility.
Council CEO Chris Cowley said the service station would be a convenience for airport users that will drive cost-saving efficiencies for the City of Whyalla.
The new command centre shed will function as a temporary terminal while the airport terminal undergoes renovations. Once renovations are complete, the shed will be used to store council machines and vehicles.
It will also be used as a storage area for emergency services, with space for firefighting foam and drinking water to be stored inside.
Airport Manager Howard Aspey said council were in discussion with the Department of Home Affairs about the upgrades to the terminal, and had also engaged an architect to produce preliminary drawings.
“What’s going to happen will be quite significant,” he said.
Mr Cowley said it was important that council continued to build the airport in a way that meets future demand for air travel likely to be generated by Whyalla’s growing workforce.
“All things being equal we’ll be looking at a considerable expansion, because we genuinely believe Whyalla is on a growth trajectory,” he said.
“The traffic to and from our airport is going to significantly increase. We need to be able to cater for that.”
Mr Cowley said the airport was especially important in a tourism context, as it’s the first piece of infrastructure tourists flying in to Whyalla will see when they arrive.
“We want them to see a very professional, correctly-sized infrastructure that sets the scene for their Whyalla experience.”