Thursday, June 27, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Mackay Airport To Receive Major Infrastructure Upgrades

Major infrastructure and commercial projects at Mackay Airport are being fast-tracked following approval of a multi-million-dollar loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

Up to $45 million will go toward wide-ranging runway, apron and taxiway surface upgrades as well as the highly anticipated Milton Street Precinct, taking shape as a new business, retail and entertainment hub less than 1km from the airport terminal.

North Queensland Airports Chief Executive Officer Richard Barker said the loan enabled investment in infrastructure that would unlock the next phase of growth at Mackay Airport.

“The extensive infrastructure upgrades that will be assisted by this loan across the next five years will set us up for ongoing success as our community develops and grows,” he said.

“This loan recognises our airport’s critical role across the region, contributing to industry development, tourism, freight and more. We are grateful for this support from the NAIF and look forward to showcasing these enhancements to locals and visitors.”

Works earmarked under the loan include a complete overhaul of Mackay Airport’s airside infrastructure, such as a planned overlay of the entire runway. Additional sections of taxiways and aprons will also be overlayed to reduce maintenance downtime and ensure continued safe operational standards.

The initial phase of the Milton Street Precinct will involve construction of roads and connection of services, creating 25,000m2 of serviced lots to cater to a mix of businesses.

Mr Barker said the precinct’s highly visible and central location just 3km from Mackay’s CBD offered significant potential.

“This is a rare and long-term opportunity for companies to get in on the ground floor and develop their business as part of the prosperous Mackay region, on a premier site,” he said.

The funding for the Mackay Airport upgrades forms part of a broad NAIF loan of up to $155 million for North Queensland Airports, operator of both Mackay and Cairns airports.

Projects tied to the NAIF loan are expected to deliver $1.4 billion in economic benefits across Mackay and Cairns during construction and operation, along with 500 direct and indirect jobs during construction and nearly 1,500 regional jobs once in operation. Works will be rolled out in stages to reduce impact to travelling members of the public.

Senator for Queensland, Nita Green, said it helped to keep rural and regional Queensland connected.

“As a regional Senator, I travel through the regional airports almost every week, I know first-hand how important these upgrades are for our communities,” she said.

“Whether you’re taking the milk run or travelling to capital cities for work or to see friends and family, it is these airports that people in rural and regional Queensland rely on.

“That’s why this investment is so important.”

Artist impression of planned infrastructure upgrades. Image supplied

In other news