Updated Weekly

Monday 2 March 2015

Special Edition 125

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Coober Pedy airstrip widened

http://www.roxbydownssun.com.au


Photo from Roxby Downs Sun

LIFT OFF: Work to upgrade the Coober Pedy airstrip has been completed ahead of schedule.
Pictured here are some of the workers during the project.

Vital works to secure the future of the Coober Pedy airstrip have been completed ahead of schedule.
The continuation of commercial flights to the outback opal town was contingent on the state
government's $1.3 million project to widen the runway from 18 metres wide to 30 metres.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan said the government moved to secure the
vital piece of remote infrastructure because the prospect of losing the service to the key
tourist and mining town was unacceptable.
"If the government hadn't stepped in, new CASA requirements for commercial flights would
have had a severe impact," Mr Mullighan said.
"The airstrip upgrade secures future commercial flights into the opal capital of the world, helping to
sustain one of our remote communities.
"Widening the runway will not only increase tourism and economic opportunities but it will also help to
secure the livelihoods of those who work in this opal mining town."
Mr Mullighan commended the efforts of the local MP, Member for Giles Eddie Hughes, in highlighting the
issue.
Mr Hughes said the upgrade would help secure the livelihoods of those who live and work in Coober Pedy.
"We were faced with the prospect of losing flights carrying miners, business travellers and tourists to
this region and that would have hit the town's economic prosperity hard," he said.
"This upgrade will guarantee the viability of the Coober Pedy airport and in particular an Adelaide to
Coober Pedy air route for many, many years."
The new safety regulations were introduced by CASA in November last year but flights have continued to
operate with an exemption subject to the upgrade.
The District Council of Coober Pedy oversaw the upgrade works.
The state government is also planning to fund further improvements to the runway by adding an extra
layer of sealing later this year.
This work will increase the durability of the runway and ensure the long-term sustainability
of the airport.







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