Airport in dark after electrical failure

FAILURE: Mayor Cr Barry Lyons and Phil Hansen talking with a contractor. Picture: PETER WEAVING

FAILURE: Mayor Cr Barry Lyons and Phil Hansen talking with a contractor. Picture: PETER WEAVING

A TEMPORARY power system has been put in place to ensure the Bendigo Airport remains operational, following a major electrical infrastructure failure.

The failure, which occurred on Wednesday, meant there was no direct power to service the runway and windsock lights at night.

City of Greater Bendigo Mayor Barry Lyons said the council had acted quickly to put in place an alternative temporary power source to ensure the airport remained open for critical emergency services.

“Without temporary power in place Bendigo Airport would have to be closed to air traffic at night," he said. 

Works costing $20,000 to restore the power will commence on Monday, with full power expected to return by mid next week. 

The council is currently seeking a $5 million funding agreement with the federal government towards the project, to build a new runway and business park. 

Cr Lyons said the latest failure accentuated the need for an upgrade of infrastructure. 

“This latest breakdown is yet another example of the Bendigo Airport’s failing infrastructure and the fact that there has been no significant capital investment at the site since the 1970s," Cr Lyons said. 

“The Bendigo Airport plays such as important role for our emergency services and it’s crucial that this facility be brought up to a standard befitting one of Victoria’s fastest growing major regional centres.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to spend this money patching up infrastructure when the proposed redevelopment of the airport includes a full upgrade of all services."

He said council had scheduled significant repairs to the runway aprons over the next fortnight.

"We can’t take the risk that this area will fail too, but it is at best yet another patch up,” he said.

The state government and council have both committed $5 million each toward the major redevelopment. 

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