The Australian Government is seeking expressions of interest for the construction of an aerodrome and runway capable of supporting year-round aviation access between Hobart and Antarctica.

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

Reliable, year-round aviation access to Antarctica would support the Australian Antarctic Program for decades to come, enhancing scientific activities and Australia’s leadership and long-term interests in the region.

The Davis Aerodrome Project remains subject to environmental assessment under the Antarctic Treaty (Environment Protection) Act 1980 (ATEP Act) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and will be released for public consultation in Australia and internationally and presented to Antarctic Treaty nations.

The Commonwealth has decided to use a Competitive Alliance procurement method.

If approved to proceed, the successful tenderer will enter into an Alliance with the Commonwealth, which aims to foster a collaborative and innovative approach to the delivery of the Project.

Documentation requesting expressions of interest has been released on AusTender today and closes 9 February 2021. Interested parties should register on AusTender and download the procurement documentation.

Pre-qualified respondents will be invited to submit a further response and it is anticipated two shortlisted respondents will then be invited to participate in the Request for Proposal (RFP) phase, which is expected to include a site visit to Davis research station.

It is hoped the early engagement of industry through the procurement process will increase opportunities for innovation, which may further minimise or mitigate environmental impacts and reduce costs and/or delivery time.

A joint Commonwealth team comprising the Australian Antarctic Division from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, and the Department of Finance Property and Construction Division is delivering the Project’s planning phase activities.