Following the adoption of the master plan, additional information and trends became apparent, prompting Narrabri Shire Council to commission Aviation Projects to conduct an independent review of the proposed infrastructure upgrades.

The report was received by Narrabri Shire Council in late May 2013. It was recommended that the council review the form and staging of the proposed infrastructure upgrades to achieve improved operational and investment outcomes.

The review also highlighted the interrelated nature of existing and proposed infrastructure, both airside and landside, at Narrabri Airport, and the impact of sequencing of projects on the success of current and future airport operations.

The independent review highlighted the benefits of:

  • Deferring the runway extension, proposing that it is likely not required in the short term and therefore allowing redirection of an estimated $2 million back into the broader Council budget
  • Deciding whether the design aircraft for the completed Narrabri Airport would be Code 3 or Code 4, to allow protection of existing and future infrastructure and airspace from development encroachment
  • Alternative site layouts to retain the existing taxiway and apron area, achieve an expanded apron area to the north, an additional taxiway linking the proposed expanded apron to runway 18/36 and strengthening of runway 18/36
  • Improving apron layout, line marking and flood lighting to meet project and statutory outcomes
  • Revised approach to landside infrastructure with use of the current terminal for RPT operations, the former aero club building for charter operations and a future new terminal further to the east, providing increased apron capacity
  • A hangar precinct and a site for the new Rural Fire Service Operation Centre

The independent review succeeded in highlighting a more effective infrastructure upgrade compared with those in the adopted Master Plan. This would enable better provision for Narrabri Shire Council’s desired outcomes through the airport upgrade project.

Aviation Projects subsequently prepared a scope of work and supporting concept plans for the airfield upgrade tender, which was to be activated when funding for the works became available.

Aviation Projects assisted with implementation of new aviation fuel supply arrangements by preparing a technical specification and draft lease and services agreements for the tender

We also prepared a line marking plan for the existing parking apron to accommodate a single larger aircraft such as BAe-146, Dash 8 400 or ATR72 or two smaller aircraft such as B350 King Air or Saab 340. This was in preparation for Virgin Australia ATR72 operations.

It was announced on 18 March 2014 that Narrabri Shire Council had been granted $5.9 million under Round 2 of NSW Resources for Regions program towards the cost of the airside aspects of the “runway end of safety areas” upgrade project. Works were completed in August 2015.

Narrabri Airport Upgrade Planning