Lower Eyre council applies for funds for airport upgrades

Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council has applied for funding for additional security at the Port Lincoln Airport, as well as upgrading the airport's helipad.

The council needs to purchase security screening equipment to meet new screening requirements for a tier two airport, that will come into effect by December 2020.

The council has already applied for $829,000 from the Regional Airport Security Screening Fund to purchase new security equipment including body scanners and x-ray equipment, but voted last week to apply for further funding for capital works.

The council's chief executive officer Rod Pearson said the council would apply for $85,800 for a baggage carousel for arriving passengers and to install a non-return gate at the cabin baggage security screening area.

He said the cost of the new and modified equipment was expected to be fully funded through the Regional Airport Security Screening Fund.

"These actions will help provide a safer environment for the travelling public who are collecting bags," he said.

The current baggage retrieval system involves a trailer bringing the baggage into the collection area, leaving the baggage door open for about 30 seconds on entry and exit, which is considered a security risk as anyone could walk from the airport terminal baggage area out to the airside land.

The need for a non-return gate was identified for the security screening area because providing an exit from the sterilised area could cause a security concern.

The council is also applying for funding from the Support Regional Aviation Program to upgrade the airport's helipad.

The upgrade will include installing solar lights and applying a new asphalt surface.

Mr Pearson said the helipad was used by the Country Fire Service and the Royal Flying Doctor Service as well as by other helicopters, with 178 movements recorded over a 12-month period.

"The pad is near the end of its life, prompting the decision to make an application to the state government's Support Regional Aviation Program for an upgrade at a cost of $44,000," he said.

The upgrade falls within the council's master plan and contributed funds have been sourced from existing savings.