Air services navigation provider Airservices Australia is set to begin construction of a new aviation rescue fire station at Ballina Airport, with an investment of $12.5m.
Upon completion, the building will see the introduction of a new aviation fire service at the airport, which aims to provide better safety to airport users.
The new fire station is being built in response to a sustained increase in passenger numbers, which placed the airport above the regulatory trigger for an airport fire service.
Airservices Australia projects and engineering executive general manager Mark Rodwell said: "We are now seeing close to 400,000 passenger movements a year at Ballina Airport, with that number expected to rise to 450,000 by June 2015.
"The increased demand on Australia’s air traffic network is due largely to the growth of traffic due to the resources industry, an increase in tourism and the ongoing growth of low-cost carriers in Australia.
"This project reflects our ongoing commitment to the development and implementation of infrastructure to make aviation safer and more efficient, particularly in regional Australia."
Ballina Airport’s new fire station will based on a modular, standardised design and will feature two vehicle bays, onsite training facilities, a vehicle maintenance bay, as well as administration and workshop areas.
Following the completion, the facility will have a fit-out of the structure and commissioning period, with services expected to start in early 2015.
Airservices Australia has selected St Hilliers Property as the contractor for the construction, which is scheduled to be completed by November.
The aviation services provider currently has five new aviation fire stations under construction in Australia, which include Coffs Harbour, Gladstone, Newman and Port Hedland airports.