Local airport runway raises concerns

RUNWAY: Port Lincoln Airport terminal building.
RUNWAY: Port Lincoln Airport terminal building.

The Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council have received concerns from aviation operators about the runway at the Port Lincoln airport.

The two aircraft operators announced their concerns with council on the runways unsealed gravel surface and its maintenance at a meeting on August 23.

A request was made to council to resurface the runway with crushed limestone after operators raised concerns about the risk of stone damage to the painted main body of their aircrafts and damage to propellers.

Director of works and infrastructure Alex Douglas said by providing two options the aviation operators concerns would be eased.

“This will provide a short term response to the concerns until the Council has determined funding priorities and options.”

Prior work had been conducted to seal some parts of the 1450 metre long runway before, therefore a total of 1180 metres will only need to be resurfaced.

The first option, with an estimated cost of $365,000 to council, was to overlay existing pavement with 150 mm of crushed limestone rubble.

If this option were chosen, the runway would require a filing and grading as the 150 mm resurfacing would be above the already sealed surface level.

This would involve the raising of the runway lights and the importing, spreading, rolling and compacting of 4,500 cubic metres of topsoil and seeding with grass.

The runway would require around 7,000 cubic metres of rubble and the excavation of 1,000 cubic metres of existing pavement. 

The second option, with an estimated cost of $345,000 to council was to remove and replace the 150 mm of runway surface.

This option retains the existing grassed strip and runway lighting heights and therefore would not disrupt the sections either side of the runway, however it would possibly take longer to complete.

The project would require the excavation of 6,500 cubic metres of pavement and the import and compaction of 7,000 cubic metres of rubble.

Acting chief executive officer, Leith Blacker said council did not adopt either option, as the estimated cost for the runway resurfacing is unlikely to be included in an airport budget in the near future without external funding.

“The project will be assessed for eligibility against the SA Government’s Supporting Regional Aviation Fund as well as against the Australian Government’s Regional and Remote Airport Fund,” he said.