EMERGENCY services helicopters will get a new space at the Bendigo airport but the city's council is still "anxiously" waiting for any bigger announcements about a badly needed terminal upgrade.
The City of Greater Bendigo was celebrating a $300,0000 federal funding announcement on Wednesday
The money will be used to concrete over areas where emergency helicopters land, with enough space left over for private choppers and a dedicated space for fuel tankers.
The new federal funds were part of a $30 million regional splash that Liberal senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson hailed as a major boost for a hub.
"This project will directly benefit emergency services helicopters that come to Bendigo Airport providing vital services to the region," she said.
A team of two firefighting helicopters are based in Bendigo every summer and the council hopes to attract more in time to come.
"And it's not just emergency services. At the moment we have areas where helicopters can park but nothing dedicated just to them," the council's business services manager Ben Devanny said.
It was not ideal especially when rain and wind picked up, he said.
The council hoped the latest funding announcement might encourage more businesses that have helicopters to use the airport.
The council recently said it expected a nine-fold increase in passengers if the airport secured a separate $4.4 million in federal funding for a new terminal.
"I know Craig [Niemann, council chief executive], the executive team and councillors are having regular conversations with Canberra," Mr Devanny said.
"We have been told we should get an answer in the first quarter of this financial year. Hopefully, it's a good one."
The council has applied for the money through the government's Building Better Regions Fund after more than four years of applications and is currently working through a planning application for the new terminal.
"If we get the funding we can more pretty quickly but there's only so many things you can do until you know you've got the funds," Mr Devanny said.
The state government has been pushing for its federal counterparts to make a decision and said it would not rule out pursuing private investment if any funding was not locked in in a timely manner.
The Victorian government originally gave Canberra a deadline of the end of May for a decision, but that was before the council applied for the Building Better Regions grant.
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