The new Astra Aerolab precinct will allow aviation companies to establish themselves in the region and support the Royal Australian Air Force combat aircraft, including the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
BAE Systems Australia, one of the largest defence contractors in Australia, will employ around 400 highly skilled people to support the Joint Strike Fighter fleet during the 30-plus years of the aircraft’s service life.
Newcastle Airport and BAE Systems Australia also signed an agreement giving the defence contractor an option to lease land on stage one of the Astra Aerolab site.
The NSW Government has provided $11.7 million to the 76-hectare precinct near Williamtown airport for vital infrastructure, including an access road, power, water, gas, sewer and data connections.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the funding towards the Astra Aerolab precinct is helping to create jobs for aerospace engineers, aviation, IT and avionics specialists and attracting workers to the Hunter region.
“I want to thank Newcastle Airport, the City of Newcastle and Port Stephens Council for their hard work and commitment to making this precinct a reality,” Mr Barilaro said.