Scone airport lands $2m overhaul

SCONE airport will be given a $2 million overhaul to boost tourism and improve access to the region's thoroughbred racehorse sales.

Minister for Regional Development Ian Macdonald said yesterday that upgrades would include extensions to the runway, construction of an new taxiway and improved drainage.

He said the airport was well located and could become a significant transport hub for the region.

The announcement followed a funding agreement between the Upper Hunter Council, local businesses and the NSW Government.

"The airport was built in 1958 and is now in serious need of upgrading to service current and future levels of economic activity in the region as well as meet the needs of ongoing population growth," he said.

"These upgrades will support and strengthen the region's local equine, energy, mining and tourism industries, as well as create new opportunities for recreational flying club activities."

Mr Macdonald said he expected the project would support up to 86 direct jobs over five years.