Broken Hill airport will be upgraded to improve safety and bring the airport up to speed with current technology, thanks to $2.4 million from the NSW government's $170 million Drought Stimulus Package.
The announcement was made before local residents and business owners on the tarmac at Broken Hill Airport.
Broken Hill Shire mayor Darriea Turley welcomed news of the funding and said the grant would be met by a council contribution of $817,000 to deliver the project.
"The job opportunities that follow from this project will give our community some much-needed relief from the pressures of drought," Ms Turley said.
"We want people to know Broken Hill is still open for business, whether you are visiting as a tourist or an investor.
The $2.4m will replace aged lighting, cabling, T-Vasis radio navigation infrastructure, path indicator lighting to guide planes to the runway and boundary fencing to prevent wildlife from entering the airfield.
"Broken Hill Airport is currently the major regional airport in the far west, providing vital air transport links to SA, Vic and the rest of NSW and these essential upgrades will ensure the airport can continue to operate," NSW deputy premier, John Barilaro said, when discussing the funding.
"We know connectivity is so important for people living regionally and that's why we are prioritising these upgrades, to ensure the airport continues to host landings from commercial flights, private charters and 24-hour emergency services.
"This airport upgrade will also give Broken Hill's local businesses and industries including mining and film and screen production the reassurance they need to continue to operate efficiently and effectively down the track.
"Farmers are being hit hard by drought but not every business in the bush grows crops or grazes livestock, so it's vital to support off-farm industries by driving business activity and generating new opportunities.
"This project is ready to be delivered now, with construction to create jobs for tradies, suppliers and contractors to earn money locally, keeping cash flowing through towns."