6 Jun 2014
Airservices Australia will start construction of a new $12.5 million aviation rescue fire station at Ballina Airport next week.
The station, when completed and operational, will see the introduction of a new aviation fire service at the airport, providing an added layer of safety to airport users.
Airservices Executive General Manager Projects and Engineering, Mark Rodwell, said that the new fire station was being built following a sustained increase in passenger numbers which took it above the regulatory trigger for an airport fire service.
“We are now seeing close to 400,000 passenger movements a year at Ballina Airport, with that number expected to rise to 450,000 by June 2015,” Mr Rodwell said.
“The increased demand on Australia’s air traffic network is due largely to the growth of traffic as a result of the resources industry, an increase in tourism and the on-going growth in Australia of low cost carriers.”
The Ballina Airport fire station is based on a modular, standardised design which includes two vehicle bays, a vehicle maintenance bay and workshop and administration areas.
Onsite training facilities will include a classroom and a combined cold smoke, gas fire and ladder access training facility.
“This project reflects our ongoing commitment to the development and implementation of infrastructure to make aviation safer and more efficient, particularly in regional Australia,” Mr Rodwell said.
“The fire station will ensure we are well placed to meet projected growth in regional air services and provide safe, efficient air traffic operations well into the future.”
The successful contractor is St Hilliers Property and construction is due to be completed by November 2014. This will be followed by a fit-out of the structure and commissioning period, with services due to commence in early 2015.
The Ballina station is one of five new aviation fire stations under construction by Airservices around the country. Airports at Coffs Harbour, Gladstone and Newman are set to receive new aviation fire services following the completion of construction of new stations. Port Hedland will receive a new fire station later this year following the re-introduction of services in 2013.