Torres Shire Council
       - To lead, provide & facilitate


Horn Island Airport, owned and operated by Torres Shire Council,

  Torres Strait, Far North Queensland, needs urgent funding to

 enable main runway, minor runway (part) and parking & transit
    area to be strengthened to overcome surface damage with
                         asphalt overlay.

       Estimated funding required is approx. $3.0 million.
The Horn Island Airport plays a vital role as the primary regional transport hub and stepping
stone for aircraft movements not only to the 15 populated outer Torres Strait Islands but to
     Papua and West Papua as well as the Indonesian Archipelago. Being the port of
   disembarkation for aircraft movements from Cairns, the airport services the following
   Northern Peninsula Area (N.P.A), Torres Strait Island Communities between Bamaga
                                and Daru, Papua New Guinea.

           The following Australian airports are serviced from Horn Island.

                   1. Badu                        7. Poruma
                   2. Bamaga                      8. Boigu
                   3. Kubin                       9. Saibai
                   4. Mabuiag                     10. York
                   5. Murray                      11. Warraber
                   6. Darnley                     12. Yam


          HORN ISLAND
 Thursday Island is the government administrative hub for the
 region and has over 36 federal and state offices located on it
      with a further 40-45 offices within the Torres Strait.

  These include essential services such as Police (Federal &
  State), Australian Customs and Border Protection Service,
Dept of Defence, Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service,
         Dept of Immigration, Queensland Health and
                  Queensland Fire Service.

  The transportation of government officers to maintain these
     services account for more than 65% of passengers.
    There are no other feasible passenger
 transport systems, such as road, rail or sea,
between our nearest metropolitan city (Cairns
located 1,000kms away) and the Torres Strait.
Air transport is the only practical connection
        with the Australian mainland.
The aerodrome operator and licensee is the
Chief Executive Officer, Torres Shire Council.

The aerodrome is licensed and maintained as a
"Licensed International Aerodrome" and consists of two
sealed runways
1. RWY08/26 (Length: 1389 x Width: 30 metres) and
2. RWY14/32 (Length: 1235 x Width: 23 metres).

RWY08/26 is equipped with runway lights and PAPI (Pilot
Activated Path Indicator).
A report from SKM (Sinclair Knight Merz Consulting
Engineers) has revealed serious damage to the pavement to
the degree that the risk assessment carrying on with the Q400
aircraft revealed a Medium to High risk; possibly that further
damage may cause a crash or serious incident.

This degree of risk is unacceptable to currently sustain
continuous use of the Airport runway.

The report revealed that rutting has occurred on the main
runway from the western end 08-26 to the intersection of 14-
32 which is used as the taxi way for the larger aircraft
including the Q300 and Q400.
08-26 RUNWAY CH 1000-3290 NTS
              Taxiway from Runway 14-32.
        Rutting has occurred in several locations.

                        Runway 08-26.
           Rutting from intersection to holding point
                         Runway 08-26.

                 Runway 08-26 RHS.
         Serious depressions caused by rutting
        hold water which owing to the pavement
            cracking can enter the sub base.

                     Threshold 08-26.
             Seal delaminating from pavement.

                    Runway 08-26
          LHS as detailed previously. Rutting
        continuous through to Threshold 08-26.

                  Threshold Runway 08-26
         Rutting continuous from 08 to intersection
                         of 14-32

                 Runway 08-26 – LHS
        Emulsion has been sprayed from 08-26 to
           intersection 14-32. This is only a
          temporary measure to preserve the
                pavement and sub base.

                    Runway 08-26 – RHS

                      Details as above.
            AIRPORT RUNWAY
        14.32 - RECENT FLOODING
This runway section below requires future elevation
      and relaying of sub-grade and pavement.
Sinclair Knight Mertz (SKM) have been employed to look at
the following and report back:

    Detailed Geotechnical investigation of both runways and Apron

     A Scope of Works to
- Strengthen Runway 08-26
- Strengthen Part Runway 14-32 which is taxiway to 08-26
- Strengthen Apron (Parking and Transit Area)

    Estimate for all of the above, including both length proposals.
                        PREFERRED OPTION

 20 years life.

 Two layers of asphalt over length of full runway, minor runway (part),
  parking & transit area.

 Must be used to enable the airport to be kept open by utilising Displaced

 Will provide a safe and non restrictive runway which will not require any
  major upgrade expenditure for the next 20 years.
               SUMMARY OF FUNDING
Department or Agency                   Approved Amount                  Possible Further Action
Queensland Transport                   $2.0 million                     TSC lobby for additional grant funding
Torres Strait Regional Authority       $400 K                           TSC lobby for additional grant funding
Federal Govt. election promise (RASP   $680 K                           TSC, TSIRC, NPARC and TSRA lobby
program)                                                                Federal government for additional grant
RLCIP $250 M – First round funding     $100 K
(Regional & Local Community
Infrastructure Program)
Torres Shire Council                   $260 K
-Reserve Allocation

Torres Shire Council Loan              $1.0 million                     TSC increase loan borrowing, but there is
                                                                        limitation due to small rates base
TOTAL                                  $4.4 million

Less Estimated Costs                   $7.0 million (to be confirmed)

SHORTFALL                              Approx. $2.6 million
                 HEAD PASSENGER TAX

 In its 2009/10 Budget, Council increased the passenger head tax by
$5.60 to $25.00 per head with CPI increases to be applied in subsequent
 With approx. 70,000 Qantaslink passengers per year, a total of $300,
000 from 1st October 2009 would be available to be initially allocated
towards this project and then a determined amount be applied towards
loan repayments in following years.
 The airport administration process does not enable the local domestic
passengers total to be monitored with a view to charging a head tax;
as all other flight operations are charter work.

   The low socio-economic base of the Torres Strait must be taken into
    account when Council and the community’s ability to fund such an
                    expensive project is analysed.
       Council considers that Horn Island airport’s historic significance in the
     defence of Northern Australia during WW2 presents an excellent case for
         the Airport being dedicated as a Defence Memorial which would
     commemorate a war effort that should be recognised and made known to
                       all Australians and overseas visitors.
  Horn Island was bombed 8 times (with over 500 bombs being dropped) between
1942 and 1943. This airport was also used for reconnaissance until the end of 1944.
 The long overdue but necessary airport runway upgrade and extension
works will provide the Torres Strait / NPA Region with a safe air service in
larger and faster planes which are required to allow this region to
maintain a similar transport mode which is provided for the rest of
Australia, as well as ensuring long term continuation of services and
provision of anticipated regional growth

 The main reasons for regional and community air transport include:
  * Freight                     * Health
  * Government                  * Tourism
  * Economic Development * Schooling
  * Personal                    * Essential Services
  * Mail                        * Employment / Training
 Horn Island Airport is a vital regional airport in a vast area of 49,000 square
kilometres and is absolutely essential for modern day transportation within the
Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area (Cape York) region.

 The main mode of transport is by regional and local aircraft. It must be
emphasised that the small islands are separated by large distances of ocean.
Other than the mainly slow and dangerous boat travel, air is the only effective and
efficient transport service.

 A modern airport is vital to enable the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area
to access essential government and commercial services and to continue to
function as a developing and international border region.

 The strategic location of the airport enables the region to host and launch new
knowledge, incentives and initiatives for the continuing growth and development of
the Torres Strait and neighbouring South East Asian and South Pacific partners.
                 PROJECT SUPPORT

Torres Shire Council seeks your earnest consideration of providing
funding to enable this most important upgrade/extension project to

Council looks forward to discussing all aspects of this project with you;
with a view to initiating a funding partnership.

 Council urges your support to lobby your relevant State and Federal
ministers and departments to ensure that this imperative project comes to
fruition within the shortest possible timeframe.
Torres Shire, with a small population of 4,000 residents, is unfortunately
in a precarious financial position to entirely fund a $7.0 million project of
this magnitude.

 A similar runway damage situation has occurred in other regional
airports. One particular airport which has over 10 times this Shire’s
population has overcome its problem through finance due to being a
vibrant mining, industrial, service and tourist centre.

With the current erratic weather patterns caused through climate
change; sea levels, cyclones and other natural disasters are significantly
on the rise. In the case of a major disaster in the Torres Strait region and
Western Province of Papua New Guinea, Horn Island would be the
launching pad of emergency relief services.
   Mayor Pedro Stephen states:
“The airways are our highways; our only feasible access to the outside world.
          It must be emphasized that the small Torres Strait islands
                  are separated by large distances of ocean.
To continue to function as a developing and international border region, Horn
Island Airport is vital to enable the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Area
  to be serviced by essential government and commercial services that are
                  required for proper functioning of the region.
  Council strongly believes that the funding of this essential airport project
 would be a perfect example of the Federal Government demonstrating how
       the “Close the Gap” aspiration for indigenous people could be
                    achieved in the Torres Strait region.”
                     TORRES SHIRE COUNCIL
                        MISSION STATEMENT
   Torres Shire Council through community consultation, will focus on the
promotion of community values, together with the improvement of the quality
    of lifestyle whilst ensuring efficiency of servicing and protection of the

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