Jobs boost for the Shoalhaven with a major upgrade to the airfield at HMAS Albatross

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The Hon Pat Conroy MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for International Development and the Pacific

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(02) 6277 7840

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22 August 2023

A major upgrade to the airfield at HMAS Albatross near Nowra in New South Wales will be a significant boost for local jobs and the economy in the Shoalhaven.

The $124 million project will have an average daily workforce of 75 workers, which will peak at a daily workforce of 120.

Contractor BMD Construction Group is delivering the project and will source up to 90 per cent of supplies from the local area or wider region. Work is due to start in September and finish in early 2025.

The upgrade will include resurfacing runways, taxiways and aprons, concrete pathway reconstruction, airfield lighting upgrades and stormwater drain repairs.

This will ensure the airfield continues to safely support Navy operations, including for the fleet of MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ helicopters, which is being expanded from the current 23 to 36 aircraft from mid-2025. 

HMAS Albatross is the Navy’s only air station and Australia’s largest operational Naval establishment. It plays a critical role in Australia’s national defence.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy:

“This significant investment in HMAS Albatross demonstrates the Government’s strong commitment to the Shoalhaven as a vital Defence aviation hub for the nation.

“This airfield upgrade will support the expansion of the Navy’s Romeo helicopter fleet, which will grow the region’s world-class defence industry, involved in helicopter maintenance, support and logistics.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips:

"Nowra is a proud Navy town. This is an exciting project for Nowra and across our region, which will inject more than $100 million into our regional economy.

"Importantly, this upgrade will support the increasing number of Seahawk Romeos based here, which is good for local jobs and training, as well as supporting our community." 


Media can find imagery of the MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ helicopters here:

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