$5.5m Ballarat Airport investment opens

THE Ballarat Airport is now positioned to service Ballarat long into the future following the completion of a $5.57 million upgrade.

During his visit to Ballarat yesterday, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan officially opened the upgrade, known as the Ballarat Airport Investment Attraction project.

The upgrade was completed in two stages, including the upgrade of the primary 18/36 runway, which has extended its life by 20 years.

Mr Ryan said the improvements were just the start of bigger things to come for the airport. The works were jointly funded by the state government and City of Ballarat.

“We are definitely going to see further developments here over the coming years you can be sure of that,” he said.

Up to 100 planes currently land at the airport each day during the summer months, with about 50 daily landings during winter.

The Singapore Technologies Airspace Academy also trains more than 200 pilots at the airport, with an additional 50 expected as part of the upgrade.

Mr Ryan said a lot of the works undertaken at the airport were not actually visible, but were still extremely important.

Ballarat mayor John Burt said the developments would have a huge impact on the Ballarat West Employment Zone, which was expected to generate about 9000 jobs.

“The exciting thing about this is that it is just the start of bigger things to come,” he said.