RAAF base redevelopment to be completed in 2018

UNDER WAY: WGCDR Jeff Leeke at the runway which is about to get a 2000ft extension. Picture: Charles Elias

UNDER WAY: WGCDR Jeff Leeke at the runway which is about to get a 2000ft extension. Picture: Charles Elias

WORK is under way on the $1 billion-plus redevelopment of the RAAF Base at Williamtown, starting with the extension of the dual runway and main taxiway.

Wing Commander (WGCDR) Jeff Leeke, the Deputy Base Redevelopment Officer, said the upgrade comprises of 14 projects (approved and yet-to-be-approved) costing about $1.7 billion over eight years.

He said the current 8000ft runway, and adjacent main taxiway, would be extended 1110ft to the south-east and 900ft to the north-west.

"Because there is a 6ft drop to the south, some 83,000 tonnes of fill will be used to level the land, some of which will be sourced from the base," WGCDR Leeke said.

"Contrary to some misinformation, all [of] the work will be contained within the existing base boundary and Medowie Road will not be closed."

The runway work is expected to be completed in 2018.

WGCDR Leeke said demolition work had also started at the rear of the base to make way for three new squadron facilities to cater for incoming Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jets.

"The JSF precinct will see the construction of new facilities for 2OCU, No 3 and No 77 squadrons along with new aircraft shelters.

"Work is also in progress on the new explosive ordnance preparation area."

Construction work on the runway and the JSF facilities will be undertaken by Coffey Projects and Lend Lease.

There have already been extensive collaboration with Port Stephens Council, Roads & Maritime Services, Hunter Water, AUSGRID and Newcastle Airport Limited (airfield lessee).

WGCDR Leeke said stage two of the redevelopment - due to start after 2018 - would comprise new base access (entrance) area, flexible office accommodation for up to 950 staff and a new commercial precinct.

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