Alpha airport ready for upgrade

The Alpha Airport is being positioned to cater for the region’s expected increase in FIFO workers.
The Alpha Airport is being positioned to cater for the region’s expected increase in FIFO workers.

BARCALDINE Regional Council Mayor Rob Chandler was one step closer to gaining the $12 million Alpha airport upgrade he said was at the top of the agenda when it came to the region’s development.

With four massive Galilee Basin coal mining projects looming on the horizon, the BRC mayor was adamant that Alpha’s existing aerodrome should serve as a single hub to service all fly in, fly out passenger operations for the region.

The mega-mines are set to bring in thousands of new jobs in the area surrounding Alpha, and Cr Chandler believes having one suitable airport servicing all four projects was the best and only option.

“I’ve spoken to all the companies involved and have made it a top priority in council,” he said.

“We’ve had very good reception from everyone and the next thing is to have a sit down and take it a step further.

“I’m urging the four mining companies as well as government to fund the upgrade that is vital and in huge demand.”

The existing runway currently sits at 1450 metres long, and to make it capable of handling the type of aircraft commonly used in fly in, fly out operations, it will require an 850 metre extension and must be widened from 30 metres to 45 metres.

“We can prioritise these sorts of things, we have the team available to complete the job and it is time to get this project up and running,” Cr Chandler said.

“If we are going to do it, we are going to do it properly, and this is a must if things are going to be done properly.

“These mining projects are huge and they are going to bring in thousands of jobs and construction workers, there is a huge demand for a decent airport.

“Everyone agrees that in the long-run it makes sense to have one centralised airstrip.

“I look forward to sitting down and securing this stuff.”

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