About the Draft Master Plan

The purpose of the Master Plan is to assess the Airport’s current infrastructure and consider what other infrastructure is needed for the Airport to align with the vision of establishing a vibrant business hub that contributes to regional economic development, tourism and employment.

Link Airway operates Regular Public Transport (RPT) operations to Melbourne and Brisbane six days a week using 34 seat Saab 340B aircraft.

The Draft Master Plan considers three potential scenarios:

Scenario 1: Business As Usual

Scenario 2: Introduction of Airport Security – enabling the introduction of medium-sized domestic aircraft capable of transferring up to about 135 passengers

Scenario 3: Introduction of Affordable Travel Options – enabling the introduction of large-sized domestic aircraft capable of transferring 150+ passengers.

FAQ

Both the Shellharbour Regional Economic Development Strategy - 2023 Update and The Illawarra Regional Airport Strategic and Business Plan 2015 identify the airport as having potential to create a vibrant business hub that contributes to regional economic development, tourism and employment. The preparation of the master plan enables council to better understand the current limitations created by the existing infrastructure in achieving this vision.

In simple terms, the master plan considers the pros and cons of each potential future scenario.

The table below provides examples of aircraft under each scenario.

This Master Plan is not a statutory document, which means any infrastructure developments would need to go through their own relevant planning pathway. The planning process would also establish opportunities for further community engagement.

The adoption of the Master Plan would lead to undertaking detailed safety and business cases, which would involve input from regulators and airline operators. This step assesses the viability of any expanded airline operations and outlines what infrastructure upgrades would be required to facilitate safe operations of the Airport. The safety and business cases would include modelling and analysis on critical operational factors, for example:

  • Aircraft noise
  • Flight paths
  • Take-off and landing procedures

The adoption of the Master Plan would lead to the consideration of detailed safety and business cases, which involves input from regulators and airline operators. This step assesses the viability of any expanded airline operations. A program for these works has not yet been determined.

Feedback is important to understand the community's wants and needs on a project. Community feedback will help guide the decision-making process.

Yes, impacts to the environment will be considered before making a decision regarding expanded airline operations.

The Master Plan is not a statutory document, which means further planning will be required before any infrastructure developments can start. This detailed planning phase will include an environmental impact assessment.

Land acquisition is unlikely to be required for Scenario 2, however, the Master Plan indicates that some land acquisition would be needed to achieve Scenario 3.

The Master Plan does not in and of itself provide approval to acquire land or develop land.

Scenario 2 and Scenario 3 are not expected to have any impact on recreational aircraft. Drones currently have a 5.5km restricted zone around airports, which is regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). You can find more information surrounding drone rules on their website.

Project funding opportunities would be considered as part of the future business and safety case to be undertaken.

Operational hours for either potential scenario would need to be determined at a future date, in consultation with airline operators.

Pricing of flights is determined by individual airline operators. Council has no influence on ticket pricing.

Project Stages

  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Preparation of Draft Master Plan

  • Timeline item 2 - active

    Stakeholder and Community Feedback

    We are engaging with stakeholders and the community to seek feedback on the draft master plan.
    Feedback for this round will close on Friday 26 April.

  • Timeline item 3 - incomplete

    Prepare Safety and Business Case

    Council to work together with technical consultants and airline operators to develop a detailed safety case. Council to consider outcomes from the safety and business feasibility along with stakeholder and community feedback in determining a recommended course of action.

  • Timeline item 4 - incomplete

    Council Approval

    Seek statutory approval on the recommendation.

Review the Draft Airport Master Plan