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Battlefield Airlifter. RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Australia

Department of Defence
Engineering ExpertiseInfrastructure ConstructionBuilding Construction
$370 million
2014 - 2019

Battlefield Airlifter. RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Australia

Battlefield Airlifter. RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Australia

Battlefield Airlifter. RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Australia

Battlefield Airlifter. RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland. Australia

Full project details

As Managing Contractor, Laing O’Rourke is upgrading RAAF Base Amberley to accommodate the C-27J Spartan Battlefield Airlifter, and aircraft that will significantly improve the Royal Australian Air Force’s capability to move people, equipment and supplies in Australia and across our region. 

The Battlefield Airlifter (BFA) Project is reconfiguring RAAF Base Amberley, west of Brisbane, to permanently house the C-27J Spartan Battlefield Airlifter aircraft. The project’s scope delivers all the operational and training facilities the base needs to house, maintain and operate the new aircraft.

Operational facilities include headquarters, hangars, maintenance facilities, logistics and deployment facilities and apron including high mast, airfield ground lighting, hydrant refuelling and ordnance loading areas. Training facilities include an administration area and classrooms, flight simulator, fuselage trainer, and maintenance training facilities.

The scope also includes a range of works associated with re-establishing the current facilities that will be displaced by BFA’s infrastructure.

Developing an in-ground water solution

The Base’s redevelopment includes large water storage facilities. Our team proposed a solution using precast concrete pipe sections, rather than a conventional rectangular in situ concrete water storage tank. Our solution delivered significant benefits to the project, in particular derisking the program for the project’s critical apron works as the water storage tanks are under the aircraft apron.

Flexible, efficient whole-of-life solutions

Flexibility and efficiency have been key drivers in designing the BFA’s headquarters. Recognising that personnel roles and the squadron’s structure will change over time, our team brought design innovations to create a task-based office environment that provides a variety of settings such as quiet areas, discussion and planning zones.

We also designed flexible amenity blocks which allow the squadron to adjust the ratios of male to female facilities to reflect the population of the squadron as it shifts over time. Innovative approaches such as these bring true whole-of-life considerations to the headquarters, creating a building that flexibly uses space and facilities and reduces the need for dramatic retrofitting through later stages of the squadron’s life cycle.

Defence Experience and Achievements

  • With more than three decades of experience in the sector, Laing O’Rourke has delivered or is currently delivering more than $2.2 billion of Defence projects across Australia (as at Q4 2016)
  • Laing O’Rourke was named by Australian Defence Magazine (ADM) as one of the Top 40 Defence Contractors for 2015
  • The Moorebank Units Relocation Project, delivered in 2015 at Holsworthy in Sydney’s south west, won the Australian Construction Achievement Award for 2016

Project facts

We showed process innovation in the project’s Planning Phase, responding to a doubling of project scope without compromising the project’s program or Defence’s rigorous process.

Smart water storage facility design significantly de-risked the project’s critical apron works.

The squadron’s headquarters can be flexibly and efficiently reshaped to suit the squadron’s profile throughout its lifecycle, reducing the facilities whole-of-life cost.