Hunter Region - Astra Aerolab

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, Newcastle Airport’s CEO Dr Peter Cock and BAE Systems Australia Director of Defence Delivery Andrew Gresham recently ‘turned the first sod’ of the new 76-hectare Astra Aerolab precinct planned at Williamtown.

The $11.7 million Astra Aerolab project is expected to create jobs for aerospace engineers, aviation, IT and avionics specialist, while growing employment in the Hunter region.

Newcastle Airport and BAE Systems Australia have recently signed an agreement giving the defence contractor an option to lease land on stage one of the site at Astra Aerolab.

Dr Peter Cock has said “the RAAF base Williamtown will eventually be home to a majority of the Australian F-35A Joint Striker Fighter fleet, so Astra will ultimately hold an extremely important place in developing and maintaining our nation’s strategic defence capabilities.”

Andrew Gresham from BAE Systems has said that the organisation would directly employ around 400 highly skilled people to support the Joint Striker Fighter fleet during the 30 plus years of the aircraft’s service life.

“This milestone is incredibly important for our business and will facilitate the redevelopment of our existing Williamtown site,” Mr Gresham said.

Astra Aerolab will become the pre-eminent space for innovation in aviation, defence and aerospace-related manufacturing, maintenance, research and education. Read more about the precinct here.