Busselton Regional Airport staff EDITED

Interstate visitors will soon be able to fly direct to Busselton in Western Australia’s Margaret River Region, following a significant airport funding announcement from the State Government on the weekend.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman were in Busselton this week (Jun 23) to announce the new $59.7 million Busselton Regional Airport project, made possible with $45.9 million from the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, $10 million from the Department of Transport, $3.5 million from the City of Busselton and $300,000 from the South West Development Commission.

This significant injection of funds enables the commencement of Stage 2 of the Busselton Regional Airport Masterplan, encompassing expansion of the airport’s runway to cater for B737 and A320 jet aircraft and expansion of the existing airport car park and terminal.

These upgrades will enable regular direct flights to and from the Eastern States and, in due course, some Asian destinations.

Redman said the expanded airport would be a game changer for tourism in the region and he was pleased to see Royalties for Regions, through the Growing our South initiative, facilitating new economic and business opportunities in the South-West.

“The South-West is one of our premier tourism regions, with events such as the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Drug Aware Pro and Cinefest Oz supported through the State Government’s Regional Events Program,” Redman said.

“Direct flights from the east coast will take tourism in the South-West to a new level,” he said.

Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association CEO Pip Close affirmed the Association was thrilled with the funding announcement.

“The Busselton Regional Airport upgrade has been highly anticipated by the industry as the catalyst to increase visitation to the Margaret River Region,” she said.

“This will vastly improve accessibility to the region and open up our extraordinary destination to the interstate market.

“We are extremely grateful to the State Government, the Department of Transport, the City of Busselton and the South West Development Commission for funding this exciting project, and we look forward to working with these stakeholders towards the successful completion of the project,” she said.

The Busselton Regional Airport upgrade is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management