Airport Upgrade

The Kangaroo Island (Kingscote) Airport Upgrade Project has been a work in hand since 2012 and, with the assistance of the Kangaroo Island Futures Authority (KIFA) and subsequently the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island, Council have been able to develop the 2012 Business Case further still with a focus on improving this piece of work to result in a robust and business-ready document to support a funding application to the National Stronger Regions Fund  (NSRF) - the competitive Commonwealth Infrastructure Fund. An essential element of this funding program is the need for match funding and Council continued to work with the State Government on this business case to the point where State Government were comfortable enough to commit to co-fund 50% of the airport upgrade costs - some $9M of the total $18M project.

This upgrade is the largest possible upgrade of these facilities and will allow 100-120 seat regional jets; 85 set turbo-prop Citiflyer type aircraft to establish direct flights between Sydney / Melbourne and Kangaroo Island.

In December 2015, Council were notified that they had been successful in their application to the NSRF Program for a total of $9M to match fund the State Government's $9M commitment. With funding agreements in place, the Council has been able to build a team of expertise to commence final design and delivery of the project. This work commenced in early 2016 with the appointment of the design team and design and budget validation work was completed in late 2016 - these final designs are available here. It has been determined to break the project up into five main elements of work to take the project from design to delivery:

  • Early Works Package:
    Site preparation and upgrade of alternate runway 15/33 to allow for uninterrupted air services during the main upgrade works to runway 01/19, Taxiway A and apron.
  • Material Raising Contract:
    The sourcing and preparation of over 73,000 tonnes of crushed basalt-rock material for the lengthening, strengthening and sealing of the airfield pavement.
  • Airside Upgrade Contract:
    All works associated with the lengthening, strengthening and sealing of Runway 01/19 together with associated taxiway A and the apron area in front of the terminal. This contract also includes all airside lighting needs - Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) lights to replace the current obsolete landing light system, runway and taxiway lighting and apron lighting.
  • Terminal Construction Contract:
    All works associated with the construction of the new terminal and its connection / integration with the existing Terminal building for seamless operation.
  • Ancillary Enabling Package:
    All sundry works associated with Terminal upgrade requirements such as security equipment, baggage handling, fixtures, fitting and furniture requirements, existing terminal refreshment, road and car park works etc.

Works commenced in January 2017 with Airside earthworks and these will complete after the winter break (May to September) with overlay and final seal. It is anticipated that these works will be completed by early November. The Terminal works are awarded and in hand with completion due in March 2018. Interim operations will continue in the Old Terminal building which will be absorbed into the final design and operation of the new Airport Terminal facilities.

We have been successful in negotiating the provision of new services with Qantas and these will commence in December 2017 with an additional service flying Adelaide to Kangaroo Island five times per week in high season and three times per week in low season. In addition to this Qantas will also be flying three times / week direct Melbourne (Tullamarine) to Kangaroo Island from mid December 2017, initially, to the end of January 2018. The media releases from June 5th are available for Qantas and Council.

The airport upgrade project is a significant game-changer for the Island and aims to address the time / ease / cost of access challenges that are experienced currently and which limit higher-value visitation to the Island. We expect that there will be 30,000+ domestic passengers per year from east coast capital cities together with significant uplift in international visitation given the abilit to more directly and cost effectively access the Island. We also expect to see a strong uplift in the export of the Island's high value, short shelf-life fresh produce with lucrative east coast markets and export points being able to be accessed directly and regularly.

It is clear that this upgrade will produce the paradigm shift in access that the Island needs, with significant uplift in Gross Regional Product (GRP) and employment opportunities possible. The project is a perfect example of how public sector infrastructure investment by the three tiers of Government delivers the key enabler for economic and social development.

Additional information is included in the following key documents:


Prudential Report

JAC Comrie Pty Ltd was engaged by the Kangaroo Island Council to provide a Prudential Review of the proposed Kangaroo Island Airport upgrade 1. The Local Government Act 1999 (the LG Act) requires that councils undertake a prudential review of a project proposal in various circumstances.

To view the Prudential Report click here.

A summary of responses received during consultation on the airport upgrade is available here.

Kangaroo Island Council | 43 Dauncey St (PO Box 121) KINGSCOTE SA 5223
Phone: 08 8553 4500 | Fax: 08 8553 2885 | Email:
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