Moruya Airport upgrade
Project: Redevelopment of the Moruya Airport, including terminal and runway upgrades, increased passenger and aircraft parking and expanded commercial and tourism spaces.
Start: January 2017
Funding secured: $9.73 million (including $7.11 million in Government grants and $2.62 million from Council)
Last updated: August 2020
Moruya Airport is important to local businesses and many others in our community and provides vital economic, social and medical links to Sydney and beyond. Council regularly looks at options that may help the airport meet the ever changing needs of Eurobodalla residents and visitors.
In 2015, Council adopted a Master Plan which identified redevelopment opportunities for the airport precinct.
In 2016, Council was successful in attracting funding commitments from the NSW and Australian Governments of $7.1 million to which Council will add $2.5 million to commence this development.
The funding will be used to build the infrastructure needed for future passenger growth at the airport, including:
- improvements to the airport terminal
- improved road access
- provision of three-phase power
- water and sewer infrastructure to support expanded business and tourism opportunities
- runway surface and lighting upgrades
- improved passenger and aircraft parking facilities
- additional aviation hangars.
Moruya Airport Master Plan
On 26 May 2015, Council adopted a Master Plan which identifies a strategic direction for the airport and potential redevelopment opportunities.
On 9 June 2015, Council endorsed a business case based on the Master Plan for Moruya Airport, which confirms the financial viability of each potential development phase in detail.
The Master Plan for Moruya Airport includes a series of potential development phases and will help Council make decisions about how to proceed through each phase.
Council has already completed a 30 year operational plan that explains what is required for the airport to remain fully functional with a regular passenger service.
- The new taxiway and runway lights and precision approach path indicator have been tested; we just need approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to switch over to the high-tech system.
- Final design documents for the 11-lot subdivision are under review and we are gearing up for four months of on-site works.
- We’ll kick off this month with some site preparation to facilitate construction of the subdivision in September.
- Road widening works along George Bass Drive have finished for now.
- Once the new access road into the airport is constructed we’ll make use of the extra width on George Bass Drive and mark out a dedicated right hand turn lane.
- Work is now underway for the new intersection on George Bass Drive to service the airport's western subdivision.
- First we're clearing some vegetation so we can widen the road and provide a dedicated left and right turn lane. This creates safe entry for vehicles turning off George Bass Drive.
- Commuters should allow extra time to travel through the area while traffic is reduced to one lane during construction.
- The new taxiway and runway lights are installed and ready to go. We’ll switch these babies on when the precision approach path indicator (PAPI) is ready.
- Meanwhile our crews continue building taxiways and aprons to service the eastern subdivision.
- After the school holidays we’ll get going on the new intersection on George Bass Drive which will provide another access point to the airport.
- Specialist crews are finishing up installing the new taxiway lighting.
- Planning is underway for an access point from George Bass Drive to service the new western 11-lot subdivision.
- We've put together a short film to share the story of how the runway strengthening project was achieved. It provides a great insight into the project and includes some awesome aerial footage.
Watch it here:
May to July 2019
- Over the next couple of months crews will focus their attention on the runway lighting upgrade.
- Work involves installing the precision approach path indicator (PAPI).
- The PAPI is a visual aid that provides guidance information to assist pilots in acquiring and maintaining the correct approach when coming in to land.
- With the runway strengthening work complete, crews are now focusing on upgrades to the runway lighting.
- We are in the process of providing three-phase power to the existing hangers and the future sewage pumping station.
- We are also providing water and sewer services to the new and existing hangers.
- Thanks to a highly motivated crew and amazing teamwork the main runway upgrade was completed ahead of schedule and will reopen as planned on 7 March.
- Project planning, risk management and adequate resources were also key to the success of the work.
- Crews worked rotating shifts with the site buzzing 13 hours per day, for 14 days straight.
- The runway was strengthened by increasing the thickness of the pavement up to 190mm using over 50 heavy plant.
- Crews also raised all the existing runway lighting to tie-in with the upgrade.
- The smaller secondary east west runway was reopened on Saturday 2 March, two days ahead of schedule.
14 February to 6 March - Scheduled temporary closure
- Moruya Airport will be closed to all flights from 14 February to 6 March for runway upgrades.
- The upgrades will be completed during the summer months to take advantage of the longer daylight hours and better drying conditions.
- Council staff and sub-contractors will work seven days a week to ensure necessary improvements to the main runway and tie-in to the shorter east-west runway are finished as quickly as possible.
- Airport businesses have been notified and all Rex Airlines flights have been cancelled between 14 February and 6 March inclusive.
- Helicopters may still use the airport by prior arrangement.
- The work has been scheduled to allow the 2019 Australian National Skydiving Championships, hosted by Skydive Oz, to take place from 11 to 18 March.
- The short runway reopens on Monday 4 March, a week before the event begins, or sooner should the work finish early and it is safe to do so.
- The airport was closed on 14 February with everyone geared up to start the runway improvements.
- Our crews and sub-contractors are working seven days a week to ensure the work is finished as quickly as possible.
- Work is in full flight, with the runway asphalt removed on the first day of operations using three profilers.
- Major equipment and vehicles at the worksite total more than 50 machines.
- Huge scrapers are doing most of the heavy work carrying 30 tonnes of gravel at a time.
- The scrapers will shift four to five thousand tonnes of gravel onto the runway each day.
- We have created a stockpile site and an access road to store nearly 20,000 tonnes of high quality gravel that will be used to upgrade the runway.
- The foundations of the demolished small building and old communications towers have been removed.
- We have continued with the clearing of vegetation on the western side of the airport to allow for the new 11-lot subdivision.
- Crews have been utilising heavy machinery to prepare a number of areas for bitumen sealing and have now completed sealing Bruce Cameron Drive.
- Meanwhile, preparation works for the runway strengthening project are underway.
- Crews will cease work on 21 December and resume on 7 January to continue with the project.
- Water and sewer connections have been made to the 4-lot subdivision fronting Bruce Cameron Drive.
- We now are installing a new water main and sewer main along Access Road to the aerodrome hangars and up to the airport terminal.
- The overhead powerlines have been replaced with new underground cables to service the 4-lot subdivision.
- Conduits have been laid for future NBN cabling also to service the 4-lot subdivision.
- Bruce Cameron Drive has been reconstructed from George Bass Drive to Access Road to raise the road above long-term flood levels and service the 4-lot subdivision.
- Two out-of-service communication towers and a small building have been demolished to allow for construction of the new stage 1 West 11-lot subdivision.
- Detailed design works are now underway for the upgrade to the main runway.
- Also underway are design works for the construction of new runway lighting and landing guidance systems.
- Work has begun to provide underground 3 phase power to the four-lot subdivision in the airport precinct.
- The high voltage power will be supplied from the power pole near Garlandtown Bridge on George Bass Drive.
- First we will lay conduits underground and then we can pull electrical cables from one end to the other.
- An electrical contractor will then be engaged to make the connections.
- Aviation related businesses are welcome to register interest in leasing a site by emailing council. For more information, contact Council’s Divisional Manager Property and Commercial Services, Andrew Greenway on 02 4474 1000.
- The airport apron has been extended to significantly increase the aircraft parking area.
- We have upgraded a stretch of Bruce Cameron Drive where it ties into the road servicing the aircraft hangers. The first section of the service road has also been upgraded and is now sealed.
- Water and sewer infrastructure works have been progressing. Town water and sewer systems will service the airport precinct via pipes previously installed beneath the river from Moruya Heads.
- Work on the extension to the taxiway is progressing well and is expected to be completed in December.
- Work has progressed well with half of all civil works completed for Stage 1 East.
- Earthworks have been a main focus with crews concentrating on the taxiway and subdivision area (see photo below).
- Water main and sewer pod works are 90% complete.
- The first lessee in the new area has commenced construction works on their development.
- Council's infrastructure works are progressing well and on schedule.
- On 12 April 2018 Council hosted a small ceremony to acknowledge the input so far from the Custodians of the land and Local Aboriginal Lands Councils, and to welcome the start of Stage 1 construction.
- Council has completed on-site work for geotechnical investigations and scar tree surveys on the eastern lots.
- Construction work is underway to on underground infrastructure to cater for the subdivision at the eastern end of the precinct, including storm water, water, sewer, three-phase power and telecommunication connections, and constructing a connecting taxiway.
- The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage granted an Aboriginal Heritage Impact Permit for components of Stage 1 construction to proceed.
- The final Archaeological Report and Intangible Cultural Values Study have been provided to Registered Aboriginal Parties and stakeholders for consultation. After this process has been completed, they will be submitted to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to seek a construction permit for components of Stage 1 development.
- Council has commenced discussions to develop a Brierley Boat Ramp Foreshore Plan to enhance and preserve the identified cultural values associated with this part of the site. The plan will consider installation of formalised parking, toilet and picnic facilities, interpretive signage, maintenance of the rock wall and boat ramp, and the planting of culturally valuable flora species.
- The new terminal is finished and open for business!
- Upon request by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Council commissioned an Anthropologist to prepare an Intangible Cultural Values Study for Moruya North Head including the Airport land. This study was completed on 28 June 2017 and recommended further studies, including investigation into possible scar trees, burial protocols in consultation with the Aboriginal community, research into a possible historical Aboriginal reserve and historic photographic evidence of a possible Bora ring. These studies have since been commissioned or completed.
- Work is progressing on an upgrade of the Moruya Airport terminal and Council’s carpentry team has expanded the terminal building and improved its overall appearance. The expansion includes a designated space that has the potential for a café, should an operator come on board.
- Still to come is the new and increased seating, an additional check-in desk, signage and information and landscaping works.
- Council's archaeologist and team carried out test pitting in Airport redevelopment Stage 1 sites between 13 March and 1 May 2017. This process involved all materials excavated from the auger and test pits to be sifted, then analysed. If any objects were identified, the material was then recorded and the archaeologist analysed the results and prepared a report. A representative from either the Mogo Local Aboriginal Lands Council or the Cobowra Local Aboriginal Lands Council was present at all times to monitor the activity.
- Upgrades to the airport terminal started in January and include additional passenger space inside the terminal and a modern open design offering improved comfort and accessibility. We are also refurbishing the amenities, adding an accessible toilet and providing additional office space.
- Terminal improvements are scheduled to be finished by June.
- We are continuing consultation with the Aboriginal community and maintaining engagement during test pitting activities which started on 13 March. Approval for test pitting has been given for the areas highlighted in yellow on this map:
For more information about the Moruya Airport upgrade, please contact Carl Ginger, Project Engineer:
- T: 02 4474 1391
- E: Council