TOWNSVILLE’S Chinook helicopters will soon be sheltered from the elements after the Government announced a multimillion-dollar project for the construction of new facilities at RAAF Base Townsville.
The $49.9 million LAND 4502 Additional Chinook Facilities project includes the construction of helicopter shelters, logistics support infrastructure, working accommodation and helicopter tarmac spaces.
Assistant Defence Minister David Fawcett, a former Black Hawk pilot, said the new facilities would ensure the 5th Aviation Regiment continued to effectively support Defence operations both overseas and in Australia.
Senator Fawcett said the facilities are in response to the purchase of three additional Chinooks in 2016.
In September last year the Townsville Bulletin reported the three Chinook helicopters have been left exposed to the “corrosive Townsville environment” as there was nowhere to house them, risking a shorter operational life span.
Senator Fawcett said the project would achieve high levels of local industry engagement and create opportunities for local suppliers and labourers.
“Through the successful implementation of the Local Industry Capability Plan, previous Chinook infrastructure projects at RAAF Base Townsville injected around $33 million into the local economy with 76 per cent of subcontract packages being awarded to businesses within a 50km radius of RAAF Base Townsville,” he said.
“This project and its benefits to the local economy is great news for the people of Townsville.”
The project is expected to end in 2020.
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