Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program

At a glance


Provides remote and very remote aerodrome owners and operators with grants of up to $3 million to enhance safety and accessibility.

Who can apply:

At a minimum, you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be an owner and/or operator of an existing aerodrome in a remote or very remote area in Australia
  • be an eligible entity as defined in the grant opportunity guidelines.

Other eligibility criteria apply.

Contact information:

13 28 46


The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program will enhance the safety and accessibility of aerodromes in remote and very remote areas of Australia, providing year round all weather access that will:

  • improve the safety of aircraft, operators and passengers using remote and very remote airstrips
  • facilitate improved delivery of essential goods and services such as food supplies, health care, community mail and passenger air services
  • complement air services delivery to communities subsidised under the Australian Government’s Remote Aviation Access Program (RAAP) through the Remote Air Services Subsidy (RASS) Scheme, and/or
  • meet operational requirements of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) or operators providing similar aeromedical services.

Safe, operational aerodromes are vital in the delivery of essential goods and services in remote and very remote communities, particularly where road access is unavailable, unreliable or disrupted for extended periods due to seasonal weather conditions. An effective airstrip, accessible all year round, improves the delivery of health care services such as those provided by the RFDS or other aeromedical providers, improves access to work and education opportunities and helps connect residents of remote communities.

There is a total of $10.1 million available for this grant round. There will be other grant rounds and we will publish the opening and closing dates and any other relevant information on and GrantConnect.

The maximum grant amount is $3 million, however it is expected that most grants will not exceed $1.5 million. The grant amount will be up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs (grant percentage), unless

  • you are a Priority Indigenous Location. In this case the grant amount will be up to 100% of eligible project costs
  • you and a third party are both contributing to eligible project costs. In this case the grant amount will be up to 33.3 per cent of eligible project costs.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible, you must:

  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be an owner and/or operator of an existing aerodrome in a remote or very remote area in Australia

    and be one of the following entities:

  • an entity incorporated in Australia (including incorporated trustees on behalf of a trust)
  • an Australian local government agency or body as defined in appendix A
  • an Australian State or Territory Government agency or body
  • a corporate Commonwealth entity
  • an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth).

State agencies or other eligible entities may apply on behalf of aerodrome owners/operators. In such cases, the state agency or other eligible entity will be the lead applicant in a joint application and will be wholly responsible for the project, including administering, reporting and acquitting all project expenditure.

We can only accept applications if your aerodrome is identified as “remote or very remote” as defined by the 2016 Australian Statistical Geographic Standard (ASGS) Remoteness Area.

Merit criteria

To be competitive you must score highly against all of the merit criteria.

  • Merit criterion 1 Benefits of your project (40 points)
  • Merit criterion 2 Capacity, capability and resources to deliver the project (30 points)
  • Merit criterion 3 Impact of grant funding on your project (30 points)

How to apply

The Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program is currently closed to applications.

How we assess applications

We first assess your application against the eligibility criteria and then against the merit criteria. Only eligible applications will proceed to the merit assessment stage. In consultation with the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, we may assign a technical expert to develop or analyse the work program submitted by an applicant, including compliance with any relevant Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) standards and costings.

We will refer your application to an Assessment Panel (comprising representatives from Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities and Royal Flying Doctors Service) for merit assessment. The Assessment Panel will also be used for out of round applications where the project is urgent due to emergency circumstances.

The Assessment Panel will assess your application against the merit criteria and compare it to other eligible applications before recommending which projects to fund.

To recommend an application for funding it must score highly against each merit criterion. While we assess all applications against the same merit criteria, we will score your application relative to the project size, complexity and grant amount requested. The evidence you provide to support your application should be proportional to the size and complexity of your project.

The Minister decides which grants to approve taking into account the recommendations of the Assessment Panel and the availability of grant funds

If your application is successful

If your application is successful, you will receive a written offer. If you are unsuccessful, we will notify you in writing and give you the chance to discuss the outcome with us.

Successful applicants must enter into a grant agreement with the Commonwealth. The grant agreement will specify reporting requirements and milestones necessary to receive grant payments.

We will make payments according to an agreed schedule set out in the grant agreement, with payment subject to satisfactory progress on the project. We set aside at least five per cent or $5,000 of the total grant funding for the final payment, which we will pay when you submit a satisfactory end of project report demonstrating you have completed all outstanding obligations. We may need to adjust your progress payments to align with available program funds across financial years and/or to ensure we retain the minimum five per cent or $5,000 of grant funding for the final payment.

Payments will be made by direct credit into a nominated bank account.

Key documents

  • Grant opportunity guidelines
  • Factsheet
  • Sample grant agreement – simple

Successful applicants

View the successful applicants for the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program.

Thanks for your feedback. If you have any ideas on how we can improve, we'd love to hear them.

Please provide your comments in the feedback form.

You might also be interested in