The Cocos (Keeling) Islands will soon benefit from an upgrade and refurbishment of the airport’s runway, which is the main access and delivery point for supplies and visitors to the islands.
Composite image by CONTACT
Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price announced today that Fulton Hogan would shortly commence design and development of the $184 million project.
“This project will provide benefits to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands economy by prioritising local suppliers and creating employment opportunities throughout the works,” Minister Price said.
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands has a total population of less than 600, with coconuts being the sole cash crop.
Small local gardens and fishing contribute to the food supply, but additional food and most other necessities must be imported from the Australian mainland.
There is a small tourist industry.
Minister Price said the project would strengthen and widen the existing runway and hardstands, and instal new aeronautical ground lighting to support the P-8A Poseidon maritime surveillance and response aircraft, and other aircraft operations.
“P-8A Poseidon capability will enhance Australia’s maritime domain awareness of the Indian Ocean region and southern Asia, and enhance operational access to the region.”
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are closer to Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Colombo than they are to Perth or Darwin.
Subject to government and parliamentary approval, construction is expected to commence mid next year and be completed within around two years.