THE Air Ambulance will be able to land at Edenhope Aerodrome around the clock, State Minister for Aviation Gordon Rich-Phillips announced on Friday.
Mr Rich-Phillips opened the upgraded aerodrome, which now meets Civil Aviation Safety Authority standards for night operations.
By widening the runway from 15 metres to 18 metres, and enhancing the aerodrome's lighting and line markings, larger aircraft can land day and night.
"This means that critical patients no longer need to travel long distances by road to the nearest suitable airfield for air transport," Mr Rich-Phillips said.
The State Government contributed $103,270 to the project through a Regional Aviation Fund grant.
West Wimmera Shire Council, which owns and operates the aerodrome, supplied about $45,000.
Mr Rich-Phillips thanked West Wimmera Mayor Bruce Meyer for co-ordinating the project, which was delivered months ahead of schedule.
West Wimmera Shire Council chief executive Mark Crouch said the upgrade was finished in less than a year.
He said about 25 people, including representatives from Edenhope and District Memorial Hospital, attended Friday's opening ceremony.
"We appreciate the funding," Mr Crouch said.
"Money spent on aerodromes in these small areas is money well spent.
"Edenhope Aerodrome is one of the integral places servicing western Victoria."
Mr Crouch said being an hour from Horsham and several more again from Mount Gambier Airport, across the South Australian border, emphasised Edenhope Aerodrome's importance.
Before the aerodrome was upgraded, Mr Crouch said the Air Ambulance could not land a fixed-wing plane on the runway at night.
"It is a far safer runway now," he said