$1.6 million granted for Cessnock Airport Aviation Fire Base

Published on 04 April 2022

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Cessnock City Council is pleased to announce it was successful in obtaining a $1,651,260 grant under the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program to fully fund an Aviation Fire Base at Cessnock Airport.

Cessnock Airport played an important role in fighting the 2019/2020 bushfires via the Rural Fire Service operating the AT-802 Air Tractor and helicopter water bombers. These operations highlighted areas for improvement if aerial firefighting operations are to continue at Cessnock Airport in the future.

The works will include:

  • the construction of a taxiway to the water bomber apron
  • the construction of a 5700 sqm water bomber apron with lighting
  • the connection of the water main to the water holding tanks
  • the installation of 150,000 litres of water storage and an associated pumping system
  • the repositioning of the airside security fence
  • the construction of a 3120 sqm helicopter landing area.

Cessnock City Council Mayor Jay Suvaal said this project will increase readiness for future fire emergencies by providing an effective, safe and secure location to operate firefighting aircraft.

“The Aviation Fire Base will ensure the necessary water and equipment is readily available so emergency services can effectively perform their duties during future fire events,” Councillor Suvaal said.

“The added bonus is this project will provide improved infrastructure for existing airport users, and allow for additional businesses to have direct apron and runway access.” 

The Aviation Fire Base will complement the $8.8 million upgrade to Cessnock Airport.

The project is scheduled to start in May 2023 and be completed by December 2023. Council is seeking opportunities to expedite the works using expertise obtained during the current Airport upgrade project.

The Cessnock Airport Aviation Base is made possible thanks to funding from the Australian Government for the Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program.

Caption: Inspector Dave Millstead (left to right), Captain Grahame Chevally, Mayor Jay Suvaal, Captain Craig Bryan and Captain Matt Goodwin. 


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