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Our Airport, Our Future

3 June 2015


Our airport is essential to the future prosperity of Port Hedland and is part of what makes our town a great place to live.

Following considerable review of how Port Hedland International Airport is operated and funded, a long-term lease to a private operator is proposed as the best direction for the future of our airport.

Both regional and metropolitan airports across Australia have seen great success from similar operating models. The potential benefits of a privately run airport range from driving tourism growth and supporting economic diversification to delivering greater financial benefits to the local communities in which they operate.

The potential benefits of a privately run airport range from driving tourism growth and supporting economic diversification to delivering greater financial benefits to the local communities in which they operate.

What are the benefits of a long-term lease?

It will enable transformation of airport facilities
A significant redevelopment program has been identified to bring our airport to its full potential and continue to meet Port Hedland’s needs into the future. The program includes terminal redevelopment and upgrades to essential services, airside infrastructure and car park and traffic arrangements.
The proposed long-term lease of the airport is critical to its redevelopment, providing access to private investment without the need to rely on debt or significantly higher rate increases.

It will support tourism
A strong local tourism industry requires a modern and well serviced airport. Our airport facilities serve us well now but, if passenger numbers are to grow in the future, ongoing investment is needed to support this. Private investment into our airport will allow it to be transformed into a welcoming gateway to Australia’s north-west which offers a better experience for all visitors to our town.
Ongoing capital expenditure will be part of the lease arrangements, which will ensure our airport can support increases in passenger numbers and drive tourism.

It will support future economic growth
Port Hedland has exciting opportunities to expand and diversify its economic base by attracting new export-based industries into the region. However, if we do not have the infrastructure and capacity to support exporters’ needs, we will not be able to take advantage of such opportunities.
Our airport will be upgraded and managed to provide both existing and new industries with access to technologically advanced facilities for exporting goods and services.

It will deliver financial benefits to our community
A long-term lease has been identified as the best way to manage our airport so it provides the greatest value for ratepayers. Ongoing capital expenditure will be funded by the lessor without the need for increased council debt or rate rises.
A private lease shifts operational risks away from the Town, while also freeing up resources and providing a revenue stream for other valuable community projects.

A long-term lease to a private operator means that the airport remains a council owned asset, while delivering the greatest value and benefits to the community.

Contact the Town of Port Hedland or visit the website to find out more about what is proposed for our airport. Have your say by 8 June 2015 by emailing council@porthedland.wa.gov.au