Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airfield Upgrade


Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) is an Australian external territory located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 3,000km north-west of Perth, Western Australia. It comprises 2 coral atolls made up of 27 smaller islands.

Due to insufficient length and strength of the existing airfield pavement, large Defence aircraft are unable to operate out of CKI.

The CKI Airfield Upgrade Project proposes to:

  • improve pavement infrastructure 
  • enhance airfield lighting and drainage infrastructure 
  • develop a new permanent construction wharf
  • removal of waste from West Island.

The project will be delivered at:

  • the airfield, located adjacent to the West Island town centre.
  • Rumah Baru Port Facility, located on the north-east of West Island.

Works are expected to commence in late 2023, with construction to commence in late 2024. All works are forecast to be complete by early 2026.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands Airfield Upgrade Project site location and images (PDF, 851.21 KB)

Community information

Defence recognises the importance of consulting with local residents, statutory authorities and other interested stakeholders on the project.

Defence held public information sessions to provide information about the proposed works and allow attendees to ask questions.

The project was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works (PWC) in November 2022. PWC approved the project to procced in March 2023.

Project details

The proposed works at Cocos (Keeling) Islands will be delivered across the following work and supporting elements:

  • Work element 1 – existing runway
  • Work element 2 – existing taxiways
  • Work element 3 – existing apron 
  • Work element 4 – lighting  
  • Work element 5 – drainage and flooding
  • Work element 6 – runway extension
  • Work element 7 –  waste removal 
  • Supporting element 1 – temporary construction facilities 
  • Supporting element 2 – general support 
  • Supporting element 3 – logistics