Join media release: Industry invited to engage on Antarctic aerodrome

11 December 2020

Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women, Senator for NSW
The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment


The Australian Government is seeking expressions of interest for the design and construction of Antarctica’s first ever paved runway.

In 2018, the Government announced its intention to construct a 2,700 metre runway near Australia’s Davis research station in East Antarctica, subject to environmental and other Government approvals. 

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said a future Antarctic aerodrome would support year-round aviation access between Hobart and the continent.

“If approved, the project will strengthen Australia’s presence in Antarctica, enhance our scientific leadership and support greater collaboration with other nations in East Antarctica,” Minister Payne said.  

“Year-round access would open up opportunities for new, ambitious and logistically complex projects of high scientific importance, enhance resupply logistics and emergency response capability and strengthen Hobart’s position as a leading Antarctic Gateway city.” 

The project will be procured through a Competitive Alliance process. If the project is approved, the successful tenderer will enter into an Alliance with the Commonwealth. 

The early engagement of industry through the procurement process will allow the project team to refine the scope, cost and time saving measures with a view to further mitigating and minimising environmental impacts.

A request for expressions of interest has been released on AusTender today, with pre-qualified respondents invited to submit a response in early 2021.

A second phase EOI will then occur, and following this, it is anticipated that two shortlisted tenderers will be invited to participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage, which is expected to include a site visit to Davis research station in East Antarctica.

The successful tenderer will form an Alliance with the Commonwealth to deliver: 

  • the delivery of expansion works and enabling infrastructure at Davis research station, including initial work to support the aerodrome construction workforce 
  • the proposed Davis aerodrome (including the 2,700m runway, terminal facilities and access road)
  • logistics (including shipping and management of equipment, materials and crew).

“A joint Commonwealth team comprising the Australian Antarctic Division from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and the Department of Finance is delivering the project’s planning phase activities,” Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley said. 

Link to AusTender: https://www.tenders.gov.au/Atm/Show?Id=0ad43c3b-7f47-45cf-81f9-f511925e…;
Vision and stills available at: https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/9gQKy1r0iWdcJsC 

More information available at www.antarctica.gov.au/davisaerodrome