Alice Springs Airport Master Plan 2015

The Master Plan provides a framework that will guide the airport’s development until 2035. As a key economic contributor for the region, it’s important that Alice Springs Airport can respond to the changing needs of its business partners and the local community as they build for the future. 

Final Airport Master Plan

The Alice Springs Airport 2015 Final Airport Master Plan including Environment Strategy was approved by the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development on 1st October 2015.

The 2015 Master Plan retains the fundamental concepts of the previous three Master Plans developed since privatisation of the airport in 1998. The changes that have been made largely reflect the modest growth projections, the evolving airport business, and the needs of our business partners. The five year Airport Environment Strategy continues the strong environmental management regime established by the preceding three Environment Strategies.

This 20 year Master Plan provides a 2035 development concept for the 3550 hectare airport site with aeronautical and commercial uses.

Alice Springs Airport

Alice Springs, in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, is a thriving regional hub with regular air services connecting it to each state capital. With a population of 28,000, the town acts as a major service centre for communities across 551,000 square kilometres.

Alice Springs Airport (ASA) is located 15 kilometres south of the town centre. The airport covers a land area of 3,550 hectares, making it one of Australia’s largest airport in terms of land area with considerable opportunities for future growth and expansion.

Welcoming more than 500,000 passengers a year, ASA supports and sustains Central Australia by working with the tourism industry, connecting Territory communities and providing essential facilities for the aviation and defence industries.

What is a Master Plan?

ASA is committed to delivering economic and social benefits to the Central Australian region. Its 2015 Master Plan will give the direction needed to ensure these aims are met.

Master Plans are prepared by all of Australia’s major airports to provide stakeholders with a guide to their long-term growth and development. A statutory requirement, the document is prepared every five years as outlined in the Commonwealth Airports Act 1996 (the Act). It covers future aeronautical development, land use planning, property aims, and a strategy for environmental management.

The Master Plan is drafted following consultation with key community, business and government stakeholders, and its approval is subject to public comment and review by the federal government. 

Key Features: 2015 Master Plan

Aviation Activity Forecasts

It’s projected that by 2035, the number of annual passenger movements at ASA will increase from 580,000 to 750,000. ASA’s General Aviation (GA) sector is essential for providing services to remote communities and is made up of roughly 45 aircraft. From now until the end of the planning period combined airline and GA aircraft movements are expected to grow from 19,000 to 27,000 movements per year.

Social, Economic and Regional Significance

The airport currently supports 664 jobs and contributes $129 million to the Northern Territory’s Gross State Product (GSP). By 2035, the number of people employed directly or indirectly by ASA will have grown to 889, and the airport will be adding $175 million to the NT economy.

Airport land use

Land use planning is fundamental to an Airport Master Plan and is highlighted in the Act. ASA’s 2015 Master Plan:

  • Ensures there is adequate land for expanding aviation activity.
  • Reflects the significant long-term development potential of the airport.
  • Has been developed in alignment with the NT Planning Scheme.

Commercial development

The airport lease area covers 3550 hectares and is one of the largest in the country. Approximately 1930 hectares are available for commercial use, and possible future developments include offices, showrooms, warehousing, large format retail and workshops.

Development objectives

The airfield and terminal infrastructure at ASA is capable of accommodating forecast growth in aircraft movements and passenger activity, aviation support facilities, and commercial developments. ASA has established a range of development objectives to guide its planning, including building the airport’s contribution to the economic growth of the Territory; ensuring a long-term view to ensure an optimal mix of uses; and integrating environmental considerations into all development.

Airport Environment Strategy

The Airport Environment Strategy (AES) guides the continual improvement of environmental management at ASA, and provides a framework for assessing compliance with the relevant legislation. The AES is used to ensure environmental considerations are integrated into development by laying out procedures and environmental action plans that can guide development processes.