News

Emerald air traffic explodes

EMERALD Airport is facing a $30 million upgrade to keep pace with an explosion in the number of FIFO charters as well as regular passengers.

The Central Highlands council will seek out government and private investment for the increasingly urgent infrastructure works, but plans to keep it as an independent operation.

Deputy Mayor Paul Bell said a new $15m airstrip was a quick-fix solution to make the airport jet-compliant and able to cope with the surge in sky traffic.

FIFO numbers have sprouted wings in the last 12 months, with more than 30,000 Bowen Basin workers among the 250,000 passengers estimated to pass through the airport this financial year.

"It's a huge increase from three years ago when we celebrated our 100,000th passenger, and we thought the investment we had in the airport was justified, only to find the 10-year forward planning we'd gone in to with the ($7m) terminal expansion had been exceeded in four years," Cr Bell said.

"Now it is one of the first things a new council will have to deal with.

 

"We could have direct flights from here to Mackay and Cairns, here to the Gold Coast and how much further depends on how much mining materialises." - Deputy Mayor Paul Bell  

 

"If half of them go, there could be another 10,000 jobs created around here and 70% of those people who live outside the community.

"The problem now is the airport head tax is $15 and that's covering all of our borrowing presently, and our investments, but the state and federal governments and the mining industry need to understand there has to be a financial partnership for future development."

Cr Bell said the priority infrastructure upgrades included a minimum of one jet and three passenger plane landing bays, as well as a possible separate charter plane set-down area.

Helicopters and light planes would be relocated, with the terminal and car parking expanded.

A new airstrip would require land resumptions in the surrounding area.

Cr Bell described plans to develop a commercial precinct north of the airport as a "real money spinner", with developers showing interest.

Despite the FIFO traffic being a driving force behind upgrade talks, Cr Bell said the focus would stay on the community's needs.

"We have to respond to our community and make sure it is being catered for, and any opportunities that happen, we don't and haven't specifically developed the airport for FIFO.

"It's for the local community and more and more they travel by air."

"We have to respond to our community and make sure it is being catered for." Cr Paul Bell


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Baker backs 100% FIFO ban

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker

Mayor Anne Baker backs bill banning 100% FIFO workforces

Crews overcome challenges to deliver road project

Moisture check: Graeme Tuttle checking moisture consistency in all layers of stabilised pavement.

Isaac's essential agricultural corridor has received rehabilitation.

Vandalism rears its ugly head

Disappointment over Binda Park vandalism: Councillor Kelly Vea Vea at Binda Park, Moranbah.

Isaac council is asking the community to be on alert for vandalism.

Local Partners

Clermont flying fox colony to be dispersed

Residents are asked not to disturb the flying foxes

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Win your love with tickets

SMILES: Staff and children from Outside School Hours Care are fundraising for a new playground at the centre.

DAZZLE your darling with tickets to this year's Valentine's Day Ball

Be bowled over with fun at Australia Day

FACE OF REGION: Isaac Regional Council is proud to welcome world champion Brett Wilkie as the region's official Australia Day Ambassador for 2017.

Don't miss the Australia Day activities planned for the Isaac Region

Fresh faces: NCIS gets a shake up with new cast members

The new cast of NCIS, from left, Rocky Carroll, Pauley Perrette, Sean Murray, David McCallum, Brian Dietzen, Wilmer Valderrama, Emily Wickersham, Mark Harmon, Duane Henry and Jennifer Esposito.

THREE new characters join naval drama for season 14.

First the Onesie, now an Xbox One S inflatable controller

Fancy an inflatable Xbox One S controller?

Inflatable controller 'perfect sidekick' for Australia Day party

Sarah Harris: Here’s what Amber Sherlock should’ve done

Studio 10 and Shark Tank presenter Sarah Harris.

STUDIO 10 host says Sherlock could’ve avoided the subsequent uproar.

Amber Heard 'smitten' with Elon Musk

Amber Heard

ACTRESS is reportedly excited about going public with new boyfriend

New doco argues ‘OJ Simpson is innocent, and I can prove it’

O.J. Simpson

NEW documentary series claims to have found “missing evidence".

REVIEW: Undressed is more than titilating entertainment

Nathan and Tahlia meet for the first time on the TV series Undressed.

'DIVERSE' dating show goes more than skin deep.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

What a year 2016 proved to be

Entrance Island, Birtinya

Get the inside info from the agents themselves

REVEALED: What Coast wants in an international airport

Sunshine Coast business people share their views on what's needed

Time for a cool change

43 Eckersley Ave, Buderim.

Family home goes to the auction floor

Designer home set in lush tropical gardens

This home has it all and more

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!