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Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program

Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program

  • Applications are open until: 15 December 2023
  • Grants: The grant amounts vary from $5,000 to $3 million and can cover up to 50% of eligible project costs, except in two specific scenarios:
    • if both the applicant and a third party (which may include State/Territory or local government, or another entity) contribute to eligible project costs, the grant amount will be up to 33.3% of the eligible project costs
    • if the applicant qualifies as an Indigenous Owned and/or Operated Aerodrome, the grant will cover up to 100% of eligible project costs.

The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program Round 10 offers funding for the enhancement of aerodromes situated in remote regions of Australia. Its primary objective is to ensure year-round, all-weather accessibility and enhance the delivery of essential goods and services, particularly in areas where road access is either absent or unreliable.

These efforts will yield several benefits, including:
- heightened safety for aircraft, operators, and passengers utilising remote and very remote airstrips
- improved delivery of vital goods and services, such as food supplies, healthcare, community mail, and passenger air services
- complementary support for air services to communities subsidised under the Australian Government's Remote Aviation Access Program (RAAP) through the Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme
- fulfilment of operational requirements for organisations like the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) or similar aeromedical service providers.

Key Requirements

To ensure your application is considered, it is essential to address all assessment criteria comprehensively. The committee will prioritise funding applications that achieve a minimum score of at least 50% against each assessment criterion, as this represents the best value for the allocated funds.

  •  Demonstrated need for your project:
    •  clearly demonstrate the extent of the need to enhance general access, all-weather access, and safety of the airstrip, emphasising its role in facilitating the delivery of essential services to the community. Supporting documentation, such as airstrip inspection reports, engineering assessments, and visual evidence of the issues, should be attached to your application
    • illustrate the extent to which upgrades are essential to support the operations of the RFDS or operators providing similar aeromedical services to the community
    • highlight the project’s time sensitivity and the dependency on grant funding for its execution.
  • Capacity, capability, and resources to deliver the project:
    • showcase your track record in managing similar projects, underscoring your ability to successfully handle and execute such initiatives
    •  provide a comprehensive plan for managing the project, covering scope, implementation strategies, procurement and works, timeframes, budget, and risk management, including workplace health and safety considerations. Attach a project plan, quotes, or other pertinent evidence to support your application.
    • outline your strategy for sustaining the project outcomes beyond the term of the grant funding.
  • Impact/benefit of brant funding on your project:
    • articulate the benefits that the project will bring to the communities served by the aerodrome and its broader implications for Australia. Highlight its alignment with overarching government priorities, such as enhanced climate resilience, First Nations priorities, and the provision of essential services that the community relies upon the aerodrome for, including employment opportunities, community health access, emergency medical services, and more.
    • specify the total investment the grant will leverage by indicating the dollar amount of State/Territory Government and/or other co-funding you expect to receive for this project. 

What is eligible for funding?

You are required to complete your project by 30 April 2026.

Eligible grant activities

The grant funding can be utilised for the following purposes:

  • improving the all-weather capability of the aerodrome and aircraft safety, which includes:
    • sealing and/or re-sealing and re-sheeting of aircraft pavements
    • repair, restoration, and/or reconstruction of the airstrip, taxiway, and/or apron
    • airstrip drainage works
    • basic airside ambulance and passenger shelters to support the well-being of patients in transit.
  • enhancing aerodrome safety for aircraft operations, involving:
    • installation or restoration of animal fencing
    • provision of markers and navigational aids
    • mitigating safety hazards at an aerodrome
    • providing safety-related operational and/or training manuals and training for key operational personnel.
  • facilitating night-time operations, including:
    • installation of runway and taxiway lighting
    • provision of power for aerodrome lighting
    • installation of Pilot Activated Lighting Control systems.

Eligible expenditures

Grant funds can only be allocated to eligible expenditures incurred for an approved project as defined in your grant agreement. These eligible expenditure items include:

  • contractor costs, including expenses associated with contractors engaged in project activities (covering capital items and materials purchased by contractors)
  • employee costs, comprising the portion of employee expenses directly related to core project elements (including labour-on costs at an additional 30%)
  • aviation-safety related staff training expenses
  • capital expenditure for asset acquisition, encompassing power provisions, lighting and control systems, markers and navigational aids, and training materials
  • costs related to materials, such as airstrip sealing, re-sealing and sheeting, repair, restoration, reconstruction, or drainage works, fencing materials, basic airside ambulance and emergency patient shelters (to support patient health in transit), and land clearing for an approved project
  • independent audit report expenses for auditing project expenditure (as requested by us), up to a maximum of 1% of total eligible project expenditure or a maximum of $5,000
  • tender design and process costs, including expenses associated with final engineering specifications and drawings required for the tender design and construction process, contingency costs, inspection reports, and/or consultancy advice, up to a maximum of 10% of the eligible project cost. It’s important to note that payments are made based on the actual costs incurred.

What companies are eligible for funding?

To meet eligibility criteria, you must meet the following requirements:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • serve as the owner and/or operator of an existing aerodrome situated in a remote or very remote area in Australia.

This applies to the following entity types:

  • an entity incorporated in Australia, including incorporated trustees on behalf of a trust
  • an Australian local government agency or body
  • an Australian State/Territory Government agency or body
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth).

This category includes incorporated associations and incorporated not-for-profit organisations.

Additional eligibility requirements include:

  • confirmation that your aerodrome is classified as “remote or very remote” according to the 2021 Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Area
  • providing evidence from your organisation’s board or Council (or Chief Executive Officer or equivalent if there is no board) indicating support for the project and the organisation’s commitment to completing the project and covering any project costs not funded by the grant.

Is this grant competitive or entitlement based?

Competitive. Your application will be assessed among other applications by a judging panel.

How can I increase my chances of winning this grant?

By engaging an accredited government grants consultant, such as Avant Group.

Competitive grants often require significant business case development and project analysis to support the application, this may include detailed presentations supporting the project’s merit, projected sales, cost-benefit analysis and more.

As part of your engagement with Avant Group, your account manager will assess the required documents and will provide the following as needed to support your grant submission.

Grant application writeup including a detailed presentation illustrating how the grant funding will contribute to your project, how the funding will contribute to the project’s budget, a project milestone plan, delivery timeline, impact on employment if applicable and a breakdown of the management and leadership team for the project

  • Industry analysis presentation
  • Competitor Analysis Presentation
  • Marketing and Sales Analysis Presentation
  • 3-5 year Cashflow Forecast
  • 3-5 year Balance Sheet Forecast
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis of Grant Funding
  • End-to-end grant application including information collating, analysis and application writing
  • CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) cost-benefit analysis
  • Stakeholder relations and Risk Mitigation Plans
  • Any other relevant forecasting that will support your application

How can I get help with my application? Or know if I’m likely to win funding?

Avant Group offers a no-obligation assessment of your eligibility for funding and will assess your likelihood of a successful grant application.