LESS than two years since the last upgrade, Emerald Airport is yet again fast approaching capacity and in need of a revamp.
Virgin and Qantas have about 130 flights a week through the airport, with that number expected to rise to about 200 in the coming years.
But it is the increase in fly in, fly out activity that has prompted the latest solution, which is aimed at making operations more efficient and allowing the airport to meet increasing demand.
Plans are underway to create a wholly separate FIFO terminal. This will allow mine workers to pass through a completely separate building and bypass security check-in, with the idea of freeing up the existing terminal for the increase in regular passenger traffic.
"The fact is, as we continue to grow in FIFO activity, they don't all need to go through the security screens," Central Highlands Regional Council executive manager for commercial services Ashley Rosario said.
"There is no requirement for passengers who land or take-off in an aircraft that is under a certain weight to go through security screening.
"We will have to separate the two groups completely.
"So we are planning to create a separate terminal away from the current one."
As well as the need for a stand-alone building, will be the requirement to separate planes and their parking bays on the tarmac.
The plan resembles that currently in use at the Perth Domestic Airport, where a massive increase in FIFO traffic dictated the need to free up the existing terminal for regular passengers.
Planes take off on the hour, every hour, shuffling workers to remote destinations across Western Australia.
On top of the existing three terminals, a separate FIFO-only terminal operates on the grounds.
This makes Perth Domestic the fastest-growing capital city airport in Australia.
The number of passengers travelling through has doubled in the last seven years, with 12 million being recorded in 2011.
Much of this can be put down to the resources boom.
Mr Rosario said the Emerald Airport was again fast approaching capacity.
"We are also fielding a lot of enquiries related to charter flights so the demand to expand is certainly there," he said.
"We are making plans to accommodate as much of the new business as we can.
"There are a lot of forward enquiries as well.
"It's hard to tell the exact split between regular passenger traffic and FIFO traffic, but it is heading towards about 60% RPT and 40% FIFO.
"By the end of May we expect 10 RPT flights a day from Monday to Friday, and an extra 4-5 on Saturdays and Sundays."
An exclusive executive style apartment with superior sophistication, space and style located in the premier Empire Apartment Hotel, a perfect investment or place...
Located opposite Glenmore School, this home is in the perfect position for you and your family. A great opportunity for a first home buyer to enter the...
You'll fall in love as soon as you walk through the front door of this tastefully renovated Queenslander. It's got the lot from the white picket fence, 1143m2...
Budget wise families, investors and first home buyers should take note of the size and price of this great new listing. Features include: * Four bedrooms...
Come and view this tidy 3 bedroom low-set home conveniently located only a short stroll away from Frenchville Sports Club and North side Shopping complexes...
Hidden in the tranquil Mount Archer Ranges is this beautiful lifestyle block ready for you to build. The fantastic location of this block offers you an elevated...
This lowest home in Berserker is perfect for the first home buyer looking to break out of the rental cycle or an investor looking to grow their portfolio. The home...
You don't need to look any further for your ideal first home. This property has so much to offer including a four bedroom house, large 1012m2 block, solar hot...
Walk into this Double Storey beauty and you will feel right at home. Located on a quiet street in Berserker this house is perfect for a growing family as there is...
This lovely Queenslander home offers character and modern charm, plus exceptional space and comfort. -Three generous bedrooms with air-conditioning in two...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.