Operator, NT Airports, says that the planned upgrade has been made possible by a A$700,000 grant from the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities as part of its Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) Program.
NT Airports has pledged to match the grant funding dollar for dollar.
Tennant Creek Airport currently serves around 5,000 passenger movements per annum, making it one of the busiest regional airports in Northern Australia.
“This funding is critical to upgrade Tennant Creek Airport’s capabilities to enable economic growth and development for the broader Barkly region," explains Tom Ganley, acting CEO of NT Airports.
"As well as improving access to health care service providers, education, essential goods and services for the community, the airport will play a vital role in establishing a mining services hub for the region.
"The project will include an upgrade to the runway lighting system, apron expansion and installation of animal proof fencing on the perimeter of the air strip."
The infrastructure upgrade to Tennant Creek Airport comprises the following key elements:
• Improving airstrip lighting system – the project includes supply and installation of a PAPI lighting system, improving the approach visibility for pilots using the airport under the wide range of weather conditions experienced in central outback Australia.
• Installing animal proof fencing – Tennant Creek Airport has no airport perimeter fencing to prevent stray and native animals from wandering on to the runways which poses a significant safety risk to all pilots and passengers using the airstrip. The installation of animal proof fencing will improve aircraft take-off and landing operations significantly by removing this risk.
• Increasing apron capacity – the current apron capacity often limits the ability of multiple service providers and the delivery of essential goods and services to the region. Apron expansion works will allow multiple airport users eg Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), fly-in fly-out mining operators (FIFO) and regular passenger transport (RPT) flights by Air North to access to apron facilities at any one time.
The infrastructure upgrade is planned to commence in June 2019 and it is anticipated works will be completed by June 2020.