Miners may soon leave on jet plane

ALPHA’S aerodrome could rival that of Emerald if council upgrade plans are given clearance for take-off.

Currently adequate for landing Dash-8 Q300 and Fokker F50 planes, Barcaldine Regional Council is proposing an upgrade to increase capacity at the site, enabling it to land jets.

Emerald is in the middle of a $7-million terminal and runway upgrade to make it jet compliant.

Short and longer haul FIFO routes out of Alpha will soon be highly-prized by private and commercial air operators.

“An upgrade of the Alpha aerodrome has the potential to improve access by providing the opportunity for commercial airlines to service Alpha,” the Hancock EIS read.

“The project has the potential to prolong population and economic trends, and potentially amplify this trend in Emerald, and expand them in the Clermont area if access to the project site is improved and transportation options examined. The project has been designed to limit impacts on the community by locating the workforce in an accommodation village on the project site, and by planning for a FIFO workforce.

“However, the choice to relocate to the area is currently with the individual/family, and is therefore impossible to predict.”

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