Ballarat Airport would get a $14 million upgrade, including runway extensions to cater for larger commercial aircraft, if Labor wins the federal election.

The opposition on Thursday announced its commitment, claiming it would allow greater air freight and could enable regular passenger services to the regional Victorian city.

Ballarat Airport’s two asphalt runways are currently used by emergency services and trainee commercial pilots but are not long enough to serve larger planes, with the main runway also divided by an access road.

The upgrade would extend the main runway from 1245 metres to at least 1800m – longer than the 1600m required by some of the most common regional passenger aircraft used in Australia.

Labor said the City of Ballarat would source the remaining funds needed for an overall $22.5 million upgrade of the airport.