Latest news and insights from Australia’s airports

Tourism strategy at Whitsunday develops new growth

For Whitsunday Coast Airport, the coronavirus pandemic has been a case of being deserted one day, flat out the next. The airport serving one of Queensland’s premier tourist spots has shot from zero flights in mid-June to 23 flights a week from Brisbane from October 24. Subject to border closures, it also has three flights a week due to start operating from Sydney on November 1 and expects to quickly get back ...

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Airport remains optimistic for new project which could add 4,500 jobs to struggling economy

The national response to COVID-19 has been a double-barrelled disappointment for Newcastle Airport but Chief Executive Peter Cock remains optimistic the Australian Government will back a project which could add almost 4,500 jobs to the region’s economy. Dr Cock had hoped the government would directly back in the recent budget a proposal to work with Defence and upgrade the airport’s runway to Code E, enabling Newcastle to cater for widebody aircraft ...

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Cargo activity triples at “Field of Dreams” airport

Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport identified freight as a major opportunity from the get-go and is reaping the harvest of that foresight with a tripling of cargo activity and a planned $10 million regional distribution hub. The centre will be built by airport owners the Wagner family with support from the Queensland government and will add 3,500 square metres to existing storage facilities that already boast three temperature controlled cool rooms. It will be ...

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Alice Springs welcomes kaleidoscope of aircraft

Like a good wine, Tom Vincent’s idea to set up Australia’s first aircraft storage facility in Alice Springs has taken time to mature but it is now hitting its stride. The Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage (APAS) chief executive came up with the idea in 2009 and it took another decade to set up the facility and progressively get in place the most important approvals from authorities such as the European Union ...

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Van Pelt: Maintaining and growing Launceston as a vital transport link is the key

New Launceston Airport chief executive Hans van Pelt is moving into the airport business during an unparalleled chapter of aviation history with a resolve to get the airport on the road to recovery as quickly as possible. The new airport chief may be moving into the key piece of Northern Tasmanian infrastructure at the direst of times, but he is confident about its long-term future. “Tassie will bounce back which is obviously ...

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Top End airports are optimistic for domestic tourism boost

NT Airports chief executive Tony Edmondstone may have started his new job just as COVID-19 hit but he is bullish about the Top End’s prospects of capitalising on a domestic tourism recovery. Staff have been gearing up for the Northern Territory’s 17 July border re-opening and Edmondstone likens the anticipation to “the kids a couple of days before Christmas”. While a 95 percent drop off in traffic due to the coronavirus has ...

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World-first project to build Australia’s most remote paved runway

Building a new aerodrome is never easy but spare a thought for the unique challenges facing a world-first project to build Australia’s most remote paved runway in the pristine environment of Antarctica. Just the delivery of materials and infrastructure to build a proposed 2700m runway at Davis research station in East Antarctica is expected to take place over many years and require a combination of a large icebreaker and ice-strengthened freighters. This ...

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Airport working with island residents who are ‘really hurting’

King Island’s world-renowned produce means it punches well above its weight when it comes to global recognition but getting governments to acknowledge the unique status of its airport is proving more difficult. The Bass Strait island airport has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic but its pleas for government assistance to help cover operating losses have so far fallen on deaf ears. The island is not alone in having to bear ...

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Regions must not slip further away due to COVID-19

The Australian Airports Association recently heard from one regional airport that is faring better than others in this time of COVID-19. They still have air services to their community, although there are fewer flights, fewer passengers and more freight these days. They are working hard to keep the airport open to keep essential services going and are holding on to every flight that they can in order to maintain their supply chain. ...

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From red dust to green pastures – mentoring across the country

The red dust of the North-West iron ore town of Port Hedland is a long way from the pastures of Hamilton in Victoria but an airport mentoring program has bridged the continent-spanning distance. It’s a program that Southern Grampians Shire Council Asset Coordinator Mary Irwin and Port Hedland International Airport General Manager Rod Evans have found enjoyable and valuable. The Australian Airports Association hosted the program in 2019-20 to support professional growth ...

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