Latest news and insights from Australia’s airports

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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Regions must keep flying in challenging times: Stewart

Co-funding arrangements, staff retention and maintaining regulatory compliance are among the issues facing regional airports as they grapple with the fallout of COVID-19, according to AAA NSW Director Julie Stewart While regional airlines have received $198 million in targeted Federal government aid, Stewart says the only Federal subsidy available to regional airports is the JobKeeper package and not every organisation will be eligible. She also warns that many existing grants available to ...

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Dubbo projects build capacity, connectivity for regional hub

Anything that delays work on airport infrastructure is normally a cause for gritted teeth and dark mumblings. But it’s a different question when that cause happens to be rain in previously parched areas of regional New South Wales. Dubbo City Regional Airport had begun work on the latest of an impressive list of recent improvements — its regular public transport (RPT) southern apron expansion — when the long hoped-for rain arrived and ...

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Intra-regional flights promote safe travels in the Pilbara

The northern end of Western Australia is known for being remote, with travel between major towns often meaning a lengthy drive through baron environments. It takes five and a half hours, for example, to drive from the regional hub of Karratha to the mining town of Newman. This can become costly and driving these long distances does raise concerns for safety. Those wanting to fly have until now faced the time-consuming and ...

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Historical roots shape Narromine’s aviation future

As war hero Captain Gordon “Skipper” Wilson landed his two-seat Avro 504K at Narromine in 1919 he would have had no conception of what would unfold there over the next century. Wilson was one of the first military pilots to engage in civil aviation after World War 1 and brought a taste of the new industry to the NSW regional town on 22 September as part of a tour promoting the ...

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