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Regional and remote airport funding

State and Australian government agencies may be able to offer financial support to local governments that own and/or operate regional or remote airports for infrastructure upgrades when sufficient funding is not available. Improvements that may be funded include airside improvements such as:

  • reseals and extensions of runways, aprons and taxiways
  • airport lighting
  • construction of animal-proof perimeter fencing.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads supports the provision of air transport infrastructure in a sustainable and cost-effective manner to meet basic access and regional development needs in rural and remote communities. 

While responsibility for airport funding usually rests with airport owners, the department has previously supported projects with local governments on a 50/50 partnership basis or joined with the Australian Government in a tripartite funding arrangement for various airside infrastructure improvements via the former Regional Airport Development Scheme (RADS). 

The former Regional Airport Development Scheme ceased on 30 June 2013, having provided $48 million over 15 years for 211 projects supporting regional air service development or emergency access to the Royal Flying Doctor Service across Queensland.

Current funding options

A brief summary of the current options available for securing state and Australian government grant funding for airside infrastructure at regional and remote airports is available below. 

This is not an exhaustive list and local governments are encouraged to explore other innovative approaches to securing funding support for regional airport development.

Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water

The Queensland Government supports regional community infrastructure projects through the Building Our Regions scheme. The program is open to all regional Councils across Queensland. Aviation Infrastructure is in scope for funding consideration, and may include airside works, such as the upgrade of runways, apron and taxiways, construction of animal proof fencing, lighting and terminal improvements.

For more information phone Buildingourregions@dsdilgp.qld.gov.au or visit the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water website.

Department of Transport and Main Roads – Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS)

Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme provides funding to local governments, as members of a Regional Roads and Transport Group, for transport related initiatives which support state government objectives. Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme provides support for a range of projects, including those which have the purpose of enhancing the safety and accessibility of regional/remote airports.

For more information, contact the relevant local government and ask for the Regional Roads and Transport Group representative, or visit the Roads and Transport Alliance page.

Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning – Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program (LGGSP)

The Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program provides grants to local governments to assist with priority infrastructure improvements, essential to the needs of local communities, including airport/airside infrastructure. There is 1 funding round per financial year and applications usually close in early October, with successful applicants announced in late October.

For more information, see the Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program's infrastructure subsidy guidelines.

Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications – Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program (RAUP)

The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program provides funding for improvements to rural and remote airports. Works eligible to attract funding include runway reseals, airside drainage works, animal proof fencing and airport lighting.

For more information email RAAP@infrastructure.gov.au

or phone 13 28 46 or visit the regional and remote aviation page.

General enquiries

Should you have any additional enquiries relating to regional aviation infrastructure funding, contact the department on:

Phone: (07) 3338 4478
Email: airport@translink.com.au
Last updated
12 July 2022