The City of Ballarat has commenced working on the Ballarat Airport Strategy and Master Plan 2024 (STAMP).

The most recent version of the Ballarat Airport Master Plan was produced in 2013 and the document now requires updating to reflect recent works undertaken and currently planned for the Airport. City of Ballarat is considering the next stages of development for the Airport which is contingent upon developing a strategy which will establish defined roles and activities appropriate for Ballarat’s status as a large regional city with significant population growth forecast.

A central focus of the master plan will be the usage of aviation within the operations and supply chains of Ballarat’s businesses and industry, together with demand for aviation services from the Ballarat community.

Extensive consultation is being undertaken to consider the future roles and capabilities of the Ballarat Airport, to establish how the impact of aircraft operations can be reduced for our residents and to understand whether there is sufficient demand in Ballarat and Western Victoria to commence an airline service from Ballarat Airport to locations around Australia.

Engagement Summary Report

Read the full report on what we heard from community


  1. The Ballarat Airport Strategy and Master Plan 2024 project presents an exciting opportunity for the City of Ballarat to consider increasing the capability of our Airport to realise its potential as an important transport asset for Ballarat and Western Victoria.
  2. The Master Plan contains scalable recommendations and objectives. Some of these will require further analysis, while others involve minimal change – and little, to no investment – to increase revenue and the services provided by the Airport.
  3. The Master Plan also sets out a strategy for the Airport to boost to the region’s economy, better serve the community and provide a financial return to the City of Ballarat.
  4. The Airport in its current state is not commensurate with its regional peers, nor with Ballarat’s standing as a city of national significance which generates a GRP of $7.7 billion.
  5. The Master Plan project has also seen the completion of the most thorough aircraft noise study in 20 years which will improve the interface between the community and the Airport.
  6. Finally, industry and the community have overwhelming supported the concept of introducing an airline service into the city. The Master Plan sets out how this could be realised through the upgrading of the Airport’s aging infrastructure in a staged, and financially sustainable manner.

The most recent version of the Ballarat Airport Master Plan was produced in 2013 and the document now requires updating to reflect recent works undertaken and currently planned for the Airport.

Ballarat Airport is an important strategic and economic asset for the region, providing an aviation and commercial role for the local community, the City of Ballarat, and industry.

City of Ballarat is considering the next stages of development for the Airport which is contingent upon developing a strategy which will establish defined roles and activities appropriate for Ballarat’s status as a large regional city with significant population and industry growth forecast.

The Strategy and Master Plan (STAMP) has 3 components:

  • Situational analysis – review of existing operations and SWOT analysis.
  • Strategy – based on population data, regional business activity and the Airport’s location.
  • Site Master Plan – precinct land use design with proposed development projects, ongoing compliance and the community interface.

The strategy makes several recommendations to:

  • create an important transport asset for Western Victoria;
  • increase the economic growth for the region; and
  • provide additional revenue streams.

Key to this strategy is in the introduction of airline services.

Currently, the Airport is run as a community asset, without a commercial focus. By introducing practices that are common at airports across Australia, the revenue base can be increased to offset the Airport’s operating costs

The key objectives have been identified to be:

Pursue Revenue Opportunities (e.g. an airline service, commercial development of surplus land, aviation and non- aviation opportunities where appropriate)

Ensure Safety & Compliance (e.g. effective corporate governance, airport user groups, CASA regulations, environmental regulations etc. Plan for Infrastructure Upgrades e.g. runway pavement upgrade, additional taxiways, new terminal site etc.)

Identify Development Constraints (e.g. planning controls, heritage restrictions, consider controls for appropriate development)

Safeguard Airport Operations (e.g. review safeguarding policies and controls, consider NASF guidelines, introduce a Fly Neighbourly Agreement)

Consider Emerging Aviation Technologies (e.g. Advanced Air Mobility, drones, new propulsion methods such as electric, hybrid-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell systems etc.)

The Ballarat Airport Strategic & Master Plan will contemplate a 20-year horizon in which time the Airport runway should have been fully upgraded to accommodate large turboprop and medium jet aircraft capable of operating interstate passenger and freight services.

Additionally, the impact of the Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) development will be considered in the context of opportunities arising for the Airport to capitalise on those co-located businesses whose operations and/or markets involve aviation services.

In short, nothing.

It is a land use document that proposes a number of objectives and development concepts to:

  • maximise the potential of the Airport as a key transport asset for the region;
  • increase the financial return it can produce for the City of Ballarat; and
  • ensure the Airport remains compliant with its social, environmental and regulatory obligations in order to confer a benefit on the local community.

Should funding opportunities arise, any projects derived from the Master Plan would be subject to a cost-benefit analysis – contained within a business case – for the Council’s consideration.

There is no definitive amount.

It is a 20-year, forward looking document so contemporary pricing is of little use. That being said, most development projects could be completed within the annual City of Ballarat’s budget constraints other than the significant infrastructure projects which would require co-funding from our federal and state government partners.

An upgraded runway will enable most aircraft types operated within Australia to fly in and out of Ballarat Airport.

This may mean:

  • the introduction of an airline service;
  • the capability to have large groups visit Ballarat by air, e.g. sporting teams, events;
  • increased aircraft maintenance services providing employment;
  • having the large aerial tanker fleet based here in Ballarat, far closer to the fire risk than where the aircraft are presently based; and
  • the full suite of aeromedical services can be provided to people in our region.

Yes, it has a section called Commercialisation Pathways dedicated to different finance/funding arrangements. Additionally, it recommends considering the sale of up to 40 Ha of (surplus) Airport land which would unlock funds for the significant infrastructure upgrades.

The various strategies, for the City of Ballarat’s future consideration, are set out below:

No, that would be true if our population base was much smaller. Our Airport’s catchment is estimated to be around 300,000 people. Industry and community feedback has consistently raised the expectation that Ballarat needs direct airline connections to other major population centres.

Additionally, the Airport’s capability should be commensurate with Ballarat’s status as the major commercial and service centre for Western Victoria. It is not reasonable to expect businesses and residents to be travelling for 2-3 hours (or more) to access airline services at a Melbourne Airport.

The Airport Master Plan is now in its final draft form and available for community review and comment. There is a collection of documents within the project, each with a different level of detail:

  • Ballarat Airport Strategy & Master Plan 2024 (Main document);
  • Executive Summary; and
Quickview Information Sheet.

The Airport Master Plan was developed through:

  • initial planning, reviews and technical studies undertaken by the City of Ballarat;
  • consultation with businesses, industry and the community, along with stakeholders who presently use the Airport; and
  • expert analysis, planning and strategy completed by our aviation consultancy partners.

Yes, a comprehensive noise study was completed during the Airport Master Plan project and its findings are included in the STAMP.

This study will likely result in changes to our planning scheme to better design the interface between the Airport and our community.

Additionally – based on feedback from the community – the introduction of a Fly Neighbourly Agreement is being considered to reduce aircraft flying over residential areas when air safety is not compromised.

There are currently overlay controls in the Ballarat Planning Scheme (BPS) relating to the protection of the Airport which affect some surrounding land. The Master Plan recommends amending the Ballarat Planning scheme as follows:

  • increase the Special Use Zone 6 (permitted use) to account for the additional land for the terminal precinct (currently a crown land reservation);
  • update the extent of the Airport Environs Overlay (noise) having regard to the new Australian Noise Exposure Forecast – ANEF (not updated since 2004); and
  • increase the footprint of the Development and Design Overlay (obstacle height) to reflect the runway extension and protect the Obstacle Limitation Surface – OLS chart.

Additionally, the STAMP recommends reviewing the operation of the heritage overlay (HO) to ensure there are appropriate development restrictions on the airport site.

In accordance with Clause 18.02-7S of the BPS, Number above decibel (‘N’) contours (rather than merely the Airport Environs Overlay) should be used for strategic planning purposes when considering rezonings around Ballarat Airport. The N-contours for the airport show a significantly larger impact compared to the ANEF contour that the City of Ballarat needs to consider when determining land uses around the airport.

Although not incorporated into the BPS, the STAMP recommends developing and establishing a Fly Neighbourly Agreement to reduce the noise impacts to the surrounding community. Once adopted, communicate the agreement to the local community.

Yes, the STAMP recommends that before any development commences on a new location at the airport, the outcomes and recommendations of the previous flora and fauna studies and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Assessment, as well as the provisions associated with the Victorian Heritage Register and Heritage Overlay H0190 are carefully reviewed and considered.

If Runway 13/31 were to be decommissioned, further flora and fauna studies would need to be completed to determine if endangered species are located on the site, and the impacts to development, if any.

Updates on the Master Plan project are available on the City of Ballarat’s community engagement platform – .

For other enquiries please email the Economic Development Team at the City of Ballarat at: