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East Kimberley Regional Airport (EKRA) Runway extension

April 4, 2022

The East Kimberley Regional Airport (EKRA) will undergo a critical upgrade to increase the pavement strength on three taxiways and aprons to allow for a greater ability to service jet aircraft, creating the opportunity for route development and expansion. Further stages are also planned to undertake lengthening and widening of the runway.

The East Kimberley Regional Airport is a certified Aerodrome and a security control Airport that provides regular passenger air services as well as charter and private flight operations. It is a modern facility with licensed food and beverage services, as well as hire car facilities.

The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley (SWEK) has identified the East Kimberley Runway Extension as their highest priority project and has self-funded the detailed engineering design of the runway. In July 2021, $7.5 million of funding was committed to stage one of the Airport upgrade through the Building Better Regions Fund. This grant will fund the strengthening of the existing pavement on three taxiways and three aprons, as well as the construction of a new apron and associated infrastructure.

Stage two of the Airport upgrade details the planning for the lengthening and widening of the current runway.

The EKRA Runway extension project involves a runway upgrade to better accommodate Code 4C aircraft (A320/B737). This will include lengthening the runway from 1,829 metres to 2,370 metres and widening it from 30 metres to 45 metres, upgrading some existing taxiways and constructing a new apron and upgrading existing aprons. The communications infrastructure and lighting will also be upgraded along with the landside headworks infrastructure.

The project supports further investment in the tourism sector, including infrastructure such as hotels, refurbishment of existing accommodation and new and upgraded tourism experiences, as well as the potential for a freight hub development. It will also ensure that the East Kimberley remains connected to the rest of Australia and improve access to the unique attractions of the east Kimberly for interstate and overseas visitors.

  • The Runway extension will create the opportunity for lower airfares which will both stimulate the economy and improve overall liveability. It will also significantly increase the import and export air freight capacity both domestically and internationally and provide short-term economic stimulus of approximately $3.38 million in construction wages.
  • This project will enable businesses to attract and retain skilled people and will create numerous jobs, during the construction phase and in an on-going capacity, with a potential to focus on Indigenous jobs and opportunities.

The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley says work will commence on stage one as soon as possible, and funding applications for stage two have been submitted.

See SWEK EKRA Master Plan and Kimberley Regional Group’s Kimberley Investment Prospectus

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