BREAKING: A plane has taken off from Wellcamp airport in what is an important first step for the airport and the region.
Toowoomba company Trackspares, based in McDougall St, has commissioned the first domestic freight flight from Toowoomba.
The company is dispatching an urgent shipment to Rio Tinto's bauxite mine at Weipa.
Trackspares managing director Brad Oats said the company had been commissioned to send heavy duty undercarriage, including track chains and rollers, for a material handling machine known as an apron feeder.
He said it was fantastic to be making history at the airport.
"It opens up our opportunity space, not only for us but for companies like Rio Tinto to access our services."
Previously an order would have been trucked to Brisbane and companies would need to deal with the "logistical nightmare" that is Brisbane Airport, according to Mr Oats.
The Rio Tinto mine is dealing with an emergency breakdown situation and requires the equipment by tonight.
Mr Oats said the flight from Wellcamp would expedite the whole process in an industry where time is money.
The flight is due to leave Wellcamp about 1.30pm today.
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Wellcamp Airport commercial manager Sara Hales said: "Toowoomba and the surrounding regions provide services and supply materials for major national and international companies and for many of these entities the advantage of having a jet-cable airport nearby greatly improves connectivity and streamlines logistical operations.
"Wellcamp Airport's cargo and passenger capabilities ensure local businesses have world class connectivity, helping businesses to grow and to take advantage of a world of opportunity.
"We are thrilled to be able to help Trackspares meet their client's urgent request."
Pioneer Australia is the dedicated charter airline handling the flight.
General manager Michael Lee said the company was an industry leader in providing cost effective tailored solutions for all types of air transport requirements.
Pionair's head office is in Sydney with a full-time presence at Cairns and Adelaide.
It operates three BAE146-200QT (QT, Quite Trader) type aircraft known as the "Whisper Jet" due to the aircraft having a low noise certification.
This low noise certification allows Pionair to operate into Sydney and Adelaide Airport during the curfew hours.
Each aircraft can carry up to 11.5 tons of cargo into and out of difficult to reach locations, worldwide.
The cargo door is a massive 3.33 metres wide and 1.93 metres tall, allowing large oversized cargo to be loaded.
Pionair's air cargo division can move bulky items or other loads on an ad hoc or scheduled basis in containers or in loose loads.
"Unlike our competitors, we are specialists in the carriage of dangerous goods,'' Mr Lee said.
"Pionair is also moving into the passenger market again with our first BAE146-200QC which allows the aircraft to be operated in two configurations, all cargo or all passenger," Mr Lee said.
The 'Quick Change' QC acronym was coined because it takes only 60 minutes to change the configuration from all passenger to all cargo.
This aircraft will be delivered to Sydney July this year.
"Our current customer base includes State and Federal Government agencies, various International governments, corporate, mining and energy companies and other local and international airlines. We are also responsible for all of Virgin Australia Cargo's east coast night logistics requirements including Adelaide," Mr Lee said.
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