Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is expanding again with the announcement yesterday of $23 million in funding to widen and strengthen the existing runway.
Kevin Hogan, Federal Member for Page (which doesn’t include the Ballina area) said the federal government would be contributing $10 million towards the expansion, through the Building Better Regions Fund.
‘Over 530,000 passengers arrive at this airport every year,’ Mr Hogan said. ‘Every single person who arrives here, especially tourists, support jobs in our community. This $23 million upgrade will bring more people into our region.’
The upgrade will bring Ballina Byron into line with other major regional airports, expanding the runway from 30 metres in width to 45 metres, which will make it possible for larger aircraft to land.
Ballina Shire Council Mayor David Wright said the expansion was ‘exciting, not only for Ballina, but for for the entire Northern Rivers.’
He went on to say ‘there has been a strong and sustained demand for our airport’s services, this funding will ensure we continue to grow.’
In other Ballina Byron Gateway Airport news, Qantas and Jetstar are increasing flights in June and July, as COVID-19 restrictions ease. In the short term, the current two weekly return flights from Ballina will be increasing to eleven.
The new Qantas service to Sydney will begin with four weekly return flights.
Jetstar’s two weekly return flights to Sydney are going to increase to four by the end of June. Flights to Melbourne are also back, with three weekly return flights planned at this stage.
Across Australia, Jetstar are planning another 300 flights per week by the end of the month.