Shepparton’s aerodrome will be closed for a week to allow for $450000 worth of upgrades, but Greater Shepparton City Council assures emergency service access won’t be compromised.
The council yesterday conceded the closure would be an inconvenience, but it was being done at a time where the impact was minimised.
This month was selected for the works following consultation with key stakeholders, the facility’s advisory committee and emergency services.
The runway will be resealed and line marking reinstated in the maintenance works.
To save money and time, the council will also make adjustments to the runway lights, line-mark the taxi-ways and do drainage works, making use of the facility being closed for a week.
The last major upgrade of the facility was in 2001.
City engineer Phil Hoare said the routine resealing would ensure the runway was not open to more significant damage.
‘‘It has served its purpose,’’ he said of the runway.
‘‘It has performed quite well over that period of time.
‘‘But it is time to do a routine reseal of the runway, so we don’t get exposed to damage that requires a full reconstruction.’’
Mr Hoare assured that staff had worked closely with stakeholders and emergency services in planning the works to ‘‘minimise disruption and ensure emergency services can operate over this period’’.
He said the council-funded works were not needed due to any safety issue or limitations, but rather constituted a routine upgrade.
The works are set to begin on January 22.
Mr Hoare acknowledged any aerodrome closure was ‘‘an inconvenience’’ but stressed the council had worked with stakeholders to identify a time frame and time of year most suitable for the works.
‘‘They’re all aware, we’ve worked closely to pick a period of time that minimises any inconvenience and to keep the time frame we do the works as short as possible,’’ he said.
He confirmed emergency helicopter services would continue to access the airport.
Mr Hoare said aerodrome users had been supportive of the works and understanding of their necessity.
‘‘It’s hopefully good weather for resealing and it’s also the quietest time of year for the users of the airport,’’ Mr Hoare said.