A revamp of Moruya Airport is on the cards for Eurobodalla Shire Council this year.
Expanding the airport terminal, extending the runway and attracting another carrier will bring more investment opportunities to the shire, according to Mayor Lindsay Brown.
He says the upgrade of Moruya Airport is his priority.
“If we can increase the airport size and provide a better terminal that’s better for carriers, then they have a product to sell to their market as well,” he said.
The airport lease has been discussed in confidential sessions at council because of commercial reasons. Cr Brown says council has been on the hunt for operators that will want to invest in infrastructure and the community.
“What we’re looking at doing is having a meeting with all the key stakeholders and looking at doing a new concept plan,” Cr Brown said.
“In this instance we’re looking at the airport as being a major economic driver.”
Buyers have already shown an interest in purchasing hangar space for private planes, he said.
This year council will be investigating the airport’s future and picking the most financially suitable option for the shire.
Cr Brown said those “options” would go to council, hopefully in the public domain.
However, first, council needs to do its research.
“We need to make sure we’ve done as much research as possible,” he said.
“We don’t want this to fail because of the lack of research.”
He said development of the airport would create a regional hub, air services and industry, and bring “much-needed” jobs and further diversification of the shire’s economy.
The NSW Government has thrown its support behind the expansion of Merimbula Airport in a recently released State Government plan for 2021.
Cr Brown wasn’t concerned Moruya was left out.
“Merimbula Airport plans were ahead of ours at the time,” he said. “But one of the things we need to take on board is that potential carriers to Moruya must also have facilities at Merimbula.
“(For carriers), they will have two destinations to fly to as opposed to one. It’s more economical for them.
“Rather than be competitors, the (councils) must be working together on this.”