Thursday, June 20, 2024

Kingston aerodrome upgrades ready for take off

South Australia’s Kingston Aerodrome has been awarded $264,000 for upgrades to the airstrip in the latest round of the Federal Government’s Regional Airports Program funding.

The grant is a welcome announcement for the Kingston District Council, which is battling a myriad of coastal infrastructure and climate change environmental issues.

“Whilst our aerodrome might fly under the radar, it is vital infrastructure and needs to be maintained, along with many other assets, in a safe and useable condition,” said Mayor Kay Rasheed.

“Given our small ratepayer base and limited revenue, conflicting priorities mean that capital upgrades on essential facilities at the Aerodrome are unable to be completed without funding support.”

The upgrade will see a new airport lighting control system installed and extension of the taxiway for a designated helicopter landing area.

The lighting upgrade will ensure the aerodrome can be navigated safely by all users, which is particularly important for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

“Our Aerodrome is the only sealed runway within 100kms of Kingston and provides a facility for emergency services, recreational fliers and some business operations,” the Mayor said.

“The Kingston Memorial Hospital is the only hospital facility within 100kms of Kingston and is the closest medical service to the southern section of the notorious Coorong stretch of the Princes Highway along with other ‘black spots’ on the Southern Ports Highway and Princes Highway.”

Kingston is in a high bushfire risk area. In the summer of 2019/20, the district suffered the worst bushfire in the region since Ash Wednesday in 1983. The Kingston Aerodrome was used during the fire fighting operation by CFS water bombers and for aerial reconnaissance. 

Having a reliable and readily accessible landing surface, with access to water, was critical to this operation and will continue to be critical for provision of such services in the future, the Mayor said.

Chief Executive Officer Nat Traeger said Council was always looking for ways to raise its profile and boost visitation rates.

“Not only is the Aerodrome used for emergency services, but it is also home to the Kingston SE Flying Club.  The sealed runway and proximity to the Coorong and launching point from which to explore the Limestone Coast makes Kingston an attractive location for recreational fliers, in turn boosting tourism and the local economy in the town and local area,” she said.

Latest Articles