Northern Grampians council plans further Stawell Aerodrome upgrades

NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council wants to further upgrade Stawell Aerodrome.

Mayor Kevin Erwin said council had applied for grants to install a refuelling area and more fencing.

Council had also applied to increase the water supply at the bomber base.

Cr Erwin said the aerodrome used to have a fuel station.

"It was supplied by BP at the time, then it was taken away and it's been an ad hoc situation since," he said.

"A refuelling area would allow 24-7 refuelling."

He said people would be surprised how often planes in Stawell needed fuel.

"Fuel isn't readily available at all airports," he said.

Cr Erwin said an increased water supply would benefit the community during fire seasons.

"When the bomber base is in full swing, the water supply often runs short and has to be supplemented with tankers," he said.

"We need to have more water on hand because at the moment we can't replenish it quickly enough."

Cr Erwin said other upgrades at the aerodrome were nearing completion.

Previous work has included

reconstructing a runway, new lighting, and a new taxi way.

"The new terminal building is complete and in use," he said.

"The majority of the work left to do is sealing works.

"If we get some warmer days we might be able to finish it off very soon hopefully in the next month."

The aerodrome is already a base for fire-fighting aircraft and the air ambulance.

Cr Erwin said there had been an increase in traffic since the upgrades began.

"It's surprising how much air traffic there is around small airports," he said.

"There are planes there most days."

He said the aerodrome was being used for fly-in-fly-out workers, but it was not as popular as council expected.

"These things start off slowly though and mining has taken a quiet turn at the minute," he said.

"As the economy picks up, these things will pick up too."

Cr Erwin said a new mineral sands mine near Horsham in the future could mean an increase in fly-in-fly-out traffic.

"We're not terribly worried about it it will pick up," he said.

Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide