In announcing a $308,220 grant to support upgrades to the Mudgee Airport runway, Federal MP Andrew Gee said that the local Region has the opportunity to lead the way in the post-COVID tourism recovery.
The funding is to repair, patch and reseal the main runway.
And Mr Gee - Federal Member for Calare and Minister for Decentralisation and Regional Education - said that this work is important because "as time goes on Mudgee Airport is only going to get busier".
"While there's been a bit of a slowdown in terms of commercial traffic, because of COVID not only here but right around Australia, it will pick up at some point," he said.
"And we have to be ready for it and we have to make these investments in country aviation, if we want our country communities to grow and prosper."
He continued that with international travel off the table for the foreseeable future, there is an opportunity for Mudgee, the local Region and wider area.
"Coming out of COVID, tourism is going to have to be key. It's been hit really hard and we're going to have to be driving that domestic tourism - and there's no better place to come than the Central West," he said.
"That's the message we're going to have to get out there, I can't see international travel starting up until there's a vaccine.
"But what does that mean for areas like Mudgee? There's opportunity there.
"Because people are going to be looking for different holidays and they're going to be looking for areas not too far from the big cities.
"And I think Mudgee is perfectly placed for it, also its surrounding district. So even though tourism and hospitality operators have had a torrid time, I actually think we're coming out of it and the future is bright."
In their Draft Mid-Western Regional Local Strategic Planning Statement exhibited earlier this year, Council identified the Airport as an opportunity for business expansion in the aviation industry.
And in March, a dedicated ambulance waiting bay was announced, to bring vulnerable medical patients in from the elements.
Deputy Mayor of the Mid-Western Regional Council, Sam Paine, said that these works "will keep us prepared for future expansion, because the airport is getting busier and we want to be ready for that".
"It's a vital piece of infrastructure for us and it's the way that our medical professionals come in and out, and the way our local industry stays connected to the world," he said.
And added that the once-every-12-years task is "a lot of money for us to find each time we need to do it" and "so it's good to have the Federal Government's support".
The $300,000-plus in funding for the local project was provided through the Australian Government's Regional Airports Program.
Mr Gee said that this was support as a means to see regional Australia's aviation industry thrive.
"I think that it's a wonderful investment in country communities to invest in these regional airports, because at the end of the day we need to be doing everything we can to be bridging the tyranny of distance," he said.
Coming out of COVID, tourism is going to have to be key. And I think Mudgee is perfectly placed for it.Andrew Gee MP
"That great divide between the city and the country. And one of the key ways that we can do it is by investing in these air-links - they're absolutely vital.
"And it's a big responsibility for local government to have, in terms of managing and running these airports, they're very expensive.
"The Council put their hand up and said 'we could use some help from the Federal Government's Regional Airports fund and I'm really delighted that we've been able to deliver it.
"Because local councils can't do it all by themselves. And if we want a strong and vibrant aviation sector in country Australia, then we have to back the people who are running the sector."
Mayor of the Mid-Western Regional Council, Cr Des Kennedy, welcomed the funding announcement.
"This project will allow us to repair, patch and reseal the main runway at Mudgee Regional Airport to manage the anticipated increase in air traffic movements," he said.
"I'd like to thank the Australian Government for their investment in this essential piece of infrastructure."