The Streaky Bay District Council will explore funding options to improve its airport facilities after it was recommended an upgraded airport would benefit local tourism.
Councillor Cliff Pudney brought up the issue on the airport at the council's meeting on May 17, arguing that the airport was in need of upgrades including fuel supply, extension of the runway and upgraded passenger facilities including a lounge and toilets.
Mr Pudney said the council's long term strategic management plan called for the continued development and improvement of the aerodrome.
He said the council also had a focus on tourism with an SA Tourism Plan and an upgraded airport facility would help the town grow its tourism.
"Recently we had the Streaky Bay Races, the Ephemeral Eco Art and Trashtalk projects, the Long Table Lunch on the Bay and in November we will have the Rodeo by the Sea," he said.
"We are also looking at attracting charter flights to enhance current tourist attractions such as the Swimming with the Seal at Baird Bay and projects that are in the pipeline such as introducing Streaky Bay as the 'place' for abalone...EP cruises in the Bight and five star accommodation at Cape Bauer.
"Any improvements we do to the aerodrome will aid these events."
Mr Pudney said work was already happening to enclose the aerodrome area with a fence to keep out wildlife.
"The Royal Flying Doctor Service will be able to come and go without the worry of kangaroos on the tarmac," he said.
The council will receive an update on all possible funding avenues for the recommended upgrades.
Mr Pudney said he was hopeful the needed works could be done, but would be dependent on the council's budget, what grants were available and various federal and state aerodrome regulations.
"We are very aware of our budget, so seeking funds other than council funds is essential," he said.
Streaky Bay Tourist Promotions president Lyn Finch said Streaky Bay was disadvantaged when it came to hosting events as it was a full day's travel for many people, was cost prohibitive to fly to Port Lincoln and then rent and drive to Streaky Bay and there were limited flights to Ceduna.
"The airport is a quality asset which is currently underutilised and going to waste," she said.
"It's a lovely, sound airport and it's ideal for visitors."