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Ballarat draft airport plan out for final feedback

June 4th, 2024Ballarat draft airport plan out for final feedback

The Ballarat City Council has endorsed its draft Ballarat Airport Strategy and Master Plan to go out for community’s review, at its recent May scheduled meeting. 

The Ballarat City Council has endorsed its draft Ballarat Airport Strategy and Master Plan to go out for community’s review, at its recent May scheduled meeting. 

Almost 200 submissions from residents informed the draft plan, along with those of more than 50 Ballarat business leaders.  

Both groups were overwhelmingly supportive of the airport, with 80 per cent of businesses stating that an airline service operating from Ballarat Airport would benefit them, and more than 70 per cent of residents similarly backing the concept.

The purpose of the Ballarat Airport Strategy and Master Plan (STAMP) is to provide the City of Ballarat with a strategic planning document that will set out the potential role and uses of the Airport and explore future opportunities for growth.

The STAMP reflects much of industry’s feedback:  

  • businesses in Ballarat and Western Victoria would like greater connectivity to other areas of Australia to have direct access to new markets and suppliers;  
  • significant productivity gains would arise from having an interstate airline service available in the region;  
  • visitation to Ballarat and Western Victoria would increase, benefiting the region’s economy, in particular, our tourism partners; and
  • upgrades to the airport would also increase the capacity for emergency services.  

Some of the responses received from the community – which have also been incorporated into the draft strategy – include:  

  • the creation of noise-abatement strategies to address concerns about aircraft noise;  
  • an appropriate development plan to effectively manage the costs of upgrading the airport; and
  • the proposed completion of studies to minimise the environmental impacts of the airport and its operations.

Despite these concerns, however, residents were largely supportive of developing the airport and viewed the economic growth opportunities arising from an upgraded airport as the primary benefit, along with the time and cost savings derived from removing the secondary travel to Melbourne airports.  

City of Ballarat Councillor Samantha McIntosh said it is great to see the community’s feedback incorporated into the strategic direction of Ballarat’s Airport.  

“This strategy will help us direct a 20-year plan where we could eventually see our airport accommodate large turboprop and medium jet aircraft with the capability to operate passenger and freight services and increase capacity for emergency services” she said.  

The draft Ballarat Airport Strategy and Master Plan will now be available for the community to review and ask questions via the council’s My Say webpage.

Alternatively, the community are being invited to attend the drop-in sessions, to view the plan and concepts and chat with the City of Ballarat project team.  Sessions remaining ahead include:

Ballarat Airport: 9am Thursday 6 June 2024 at the Ballarat Airport Terminal Building, Ballarat Airport.  

Lucas: 5pm Thursday 13 June 2024 at the Lucas Community Hub, Coltman Plaza Lucas.  

Ballarat airport master plan taking shape

March 7th, 2024Ballarat airport master plan taking shape

Work on the Ballarat Airport Strategy and Master Plan is under way following the completion of phase one of the community consultation process in late 2023.  
Emergency aircraft at the Ballarat Airport during the response to the Bayindeen Bushfire – 28 February 2024

Work on the Ballarat Airport Strategy and Master Plan is under way following the completion of phase one of the community consultation process in late 2023.  

In recent weeks it has been clear the vital role Ballarat Airport plays in the region’s emergency services network, with numerous aircraft using it as a base for aerial firefighting missions to protect life and property in neighbouring communities.  

The Master Plan will identify key development projects to ensure Ballarat Airport continues to serve the region as a key transport asset and reaches its full potential in providing a range of services, including supporting firefighting activity.  

Feedback from the community also highlighted broad support for the idea of Ballarat being connected to the other major population centres throughout Australia.  

The introduction of commercial airline flights into Ballarat Airport to achieve this, is also overwhelmingly supported by 80 per cent of the businesses surveyed, who indicated such capability would benefit their organisation.

The community survey cited reduced travel time as the main benefit offered by an enhanced Ballarat Airport along with the cost savings in accessing a local airport, rather than driving to Avalon or Tullamarine.  

Not only did the community’s feedback note how much easier that it would be to visit family and friends or head off on holidays, but they also noted that it would be a boost to Ballarat’s economy, with people easily able to access the city and the Western Victoria region from interstate.  

The strongest concern coming from some sections of the community is the effect of aircraft noise, followed by the potential for this noise to impact house valuations. Addressing these concerns is another important aspect of the Master Plan project.  

Alongside the community and business consultation, the City of Ballarat has commissioned a comprehensive passenger catchment study to measure how many of the 300,000 residents of Ballarat and Western Victoria travel by air and which airport they use.  

The results show current demand for air travel is strong, with an average 1,150 people travelling daily from the region to Melbourne Airport, peaking at almost 1,600 air travellers during school holidays.

Notably, this doesn’t account for any growth that would come from introducing the service – allowing residents and visitors to make trips not presently available.  

The catchment study acknowledged Ballarat’s role as the key service centre for Western Victoria and illustrated the air transport capability the Airport could provide to the whole of the region. 

The Ballarat Airport Strategy and Master Plan is due be completed in draft by mid-2024 and will be presented to the community to review, during a second phase of consultation.

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