FLYING HIGH: Mayor Peter Maguire and Federal MP Ken O’Dowd officially open the Emerald Airport apron extension.
FLYING HIGH: Mayor Peter Maguire and Federal MP Ken O’Dowd officially open the Emerald Airport apron extension. Kelly Butterworth Emeairpo

Flying start for Emerald airport

THE Emerald Airport apron extension was officially opened by Federal member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, who said the project was a "great success".

Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Peter Maguire said the extension came after an "embarrassing" fault with the original extension.

"We went ahead and did the (extension to the) building, we did the car parks, but we didn't have any additional parks for the planes when we were trying to get additional passengers," he said.

"So we did have planes circling the airport, we did have planes parked on the runway, parked on the taxi way.

"From a council point of view that was obviously embarrassing and caused some inconvenience to the airlines and we need to apologise to them for that, and to the passengers."

Mr O'Dowd said he had been involved with the airport for more than 20 years.

"My involvement with the Emerald Airport goes back to the 1980s when I was a fuel agent here," he said.

He said the extension, jointly funded by the Federal Government and local council, was a success.

"Well done to the federal government, but also very well done to the local council. I know, like the feds, we struggle for money."

Airport fun facts

In the UK in the 1920s you didn't need to have a licence to fly. You didn't even need to pass a test.

Qantas is the oldest continuously operating native airline in the world.

The world's oldest continuously operating airfield is College Park Airport in Maryland, set up in 1909.


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