Improved taxiways at Echuca aerodrome could lead to increased pilot access and future growth in Echuca-Moama, according to Echuca Aero Club president Peter Arnold.By Trent Horneman
Echuca Aero Club president Peter Arnold is excited to see work begin on improving taxiways at Echuca aerodrome.
Mr Arnold said the work would help improve the aerodrome, making it more appealing for pilots.
‘‘We have had to close the grass runway because it was against regulations to use the runway,’’ he said.
‘‘We are happy to see work start and hopefully it can be complete before the antique aircraft fly on April 13-14.’’
Campaspe Shire approved the upgrade in September, with work starting on Monday.
‘‘It has taken a little while for work to start, but that is usually the case with any form of government. Campaspe Shire is on board supporting this project which is good,’’ he said.
Contractors hope to have the $123,000 project completed in April.
Mr Arnold said he hoped to see more works done to improve Echuca aerodrome, as it was important for business and tourism in the region.
He said in order for the airport to be more attractive, it needed a town-water supply to allow more hangars to be built and to help beautify the airport.
‘‘Under new regulations, a new hangar cannot be built unless we can access more water for firefighting. At the moment the airport uses tank or bore water,’’ he said.
‘‘There is no need for a new hangar at the moment, but it could hold us back if a cropduster or joyflight operator wanted to set up business in Echuca.’’
Mr Arnold said Echuca aerodrome was important for short and long-term visitors as well as for business deals.
‘‘It would be great to have a dollar value on the amount of business done by having an airport in town,’’ he said.
‘‘People could fly-in, do a million-dollar deal and fly-out and we would simply not know.
‘‘There is also visitors who arrive at the airport, sometimes in the morning for a break and to refuel, but there are also people who arrive in the afternoon, looking for accommodation for the night.’’
Mr Arnold said he would also like to see land on the western side of the aerodrome used for building development.
‘‘It would also be attractive for pilots to be able to build a home adjacent to the airport where they can store their planes on their property and taxi straight onto the runway,’’ he said.
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