Monday, April 30, 2012

Emerald Airport Spotting Locations

The Central Highlands Regional Council owns and operates the Emerald Airport which is located approximately 6km South of the Emerald along the Gregory Highway (Springsure Road).

QantasLink and Virgin Australia RPT services fly in and out of Emerald with around 50 services per week from Brisbane with Dash-8-Q400 turboprops operating for QantasLink while Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70s have recently taken over Virgin scheduled services on a wet lease arrangement.

There are also regular and ad-hoc fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mining and other charter flights in and out of Emerald operated by Alliance Airlines Fokker F-70s and F-100s, as well as Virgin Australia ATR 72 turboprops on flights from Brisbane.

Finally, freight flights in and out of Emerald Airport are currently operated each weekday by Toll Freight Aviation with one of their Metro aircraft operating from Brisbane via Biloela/Thangool and back via Rockhampton.  While freight from nearby towns (including Longreach) is ferried to Emerald Airport (currently) by a General Aviation Maintenance (GAM) AeroCommander 500-S.

At Emerald Airport itself, there is a large public car park located directly in front of the terminal building which has been significantly expanded and became a paid car park. There is no charge for the first one-hour use of the public car park and there are two automatic payment machines located on site. The carpark can become quite busy over the weekend, and so an additional long-term parking facility has been recently opened up, towards the Western edge of the airport.  This is also a paid parking system with its own entry/exit gates and payment machine.

The actual Emerald Airport terminal building (shown below) has undergone significant redevelopment over the last few years, and now features a big check-in area, baggage conveyors including a new baggage collection facility, and a much larger passenger waiting and seating area. Security screening facilities have also been installed and are now fully operational. Qantas has also recently opened a Qantas Club Regional Lounge.

There has also been significant apron and taxiway works in recent months, with an undercover walkway added from the terminal building to the parking gates providing cover for passengers transiting from most flights.  Sadly, this covered walkway has been built in front of some of the more prominent spotting locations - that being the terminal eating area and passenger waiting area (through security) - as well as the raised employee parking area - which no longer afford unobstructed views of aircraft parked and moving on the main Runway 06/24.

Outside of the terminal, heading North, on the left side of terminal in the picture below, is an open fence line next to the Advance Aviation offices, where photos can be had taken of the terminal apron along with the General Aviation (GA) aircraft parking apron (shown below), and out further to the runways.

On the South-Western end of the new terminal (on the right side as you face the terminal), the Council has opened up a previously sectioned off area of fence line that has some views over the freight apron and nearby parking gates.

Further down this fence line - continuing to the West - is now probably the 'best' area to watch and photograph visiting aircraft to Emerald.  Near the airport managers' house is the main apron access Gate 8, which does provide some nice views of the main runway and taxiways - as shown by some recent photos below.

Also, pictured below are a selection of around a dozen various RA-Aus registered and other light aircraft parked and hangared on the Northern edge of the airport. These aircraft can often be seen quite easily from the airport access road and the nearby hire car parking area.

With a good mix of scheduled RPT, FIFO charter flights and General Aviation aircraft using Emerald Airport as a re-fuelling stop, Emerald Airport can be a nice little airport for spotters!

Aero Professional Services - Aerial Agriculture Services - in Emerald

Aero Professional Services is an aerial agriculture company based near Emerald. Aero Professional Services was established in 1997 by aviator Hedley Watt, and the company prides itself on providing high quality aerial application services throughout the Central Queensland region.

From their WEBSITE, current aerial agriculture application services provided by Aero Professional Services include:

- Spraying
- Seeding
- Aerial photography - low level filming, still and motion
- Spreading - includes baiting
- Graslan* application
- Surveys - property surveys and inspections

Aero Professional Services also provides comprehensive aircraft engineering services at its base which is currently located approximately 5kms outside Emerald on the Selma Road, which can be accessed from the Capricorn Highway which heads towards Longreach.

CQ Plane Spotting was fortunate enough to recently visit the Aero Professional Services base, and was even lucky enough to be given a guided tour of the Aero Professional Services air fleet, of which all but one of their aircraft were able to be photographed.

On the flight line near the office at the Slema Road Airstrip we found five of their current aerial agriculture and spraying fleet.

First aircraft was Ayres S2R-G10 Turbo Thursh VH-XAJ.

Ayres S2R-G6 VH-CMY wearing a nice green and yellow colour scheme was also present.

Aero Professional Service's Air Tractor AT-301 VH-NCB has recently been refurbished and repainted.

One of two recently acquired - and strikingly coloured - Air Tractor AT-802 aircraft in the form of VH-EDG was last in the flight line.

Parked nearby was one of the older aircraft that Aero Professional Services operates in the form of another Ayres S2R-G10 VH-NFZ. This particular aircraft has also recently been noted fighting bushfires around Rockhampton - see CQ Plane Spotting Blog Post HERE - a task that Aero Professional Services are increasing being contracted to complete.

Away from the Aero Professional Services flight line, the access road to the airstrip passes by a house and attached hangar where some of Aero Professional Services' other aircraft were spotted receiving attention.

Here I found the other Air Tractor AT-802 - VH-EOG - which Aero Professional Services has recently acquired.

It was parked outside the hangar, which contained two other aircraft that Hedley flys himself and that Aero Professional Services uses to fly other workers to various towns and sites around Queensland.

Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftan VH-RPV - which has been seen by me several times around Emerald over the years that I have lived in Central Queensland.

Also noted was Beech 95 VH-WSW.

We would like to sincerely thank Hedley Watt and the Aero Professional Services team for their kind hospitality on the day of our visit. Hedley and the team can be contacted directly by phone on: (07) 4987 5777 or 0429 491 556, or by fax on: (07) 4982 3722. Alternatively, Hedley can be contacted directly via email HERE.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Photo of Brazilian Dassault Falcon 7X PR-DNZ at Hamilton Island Airport

Brazilian registered Dassault Falcon 7X PR-DNZ arrived into Hamilton Island Airport on Friday 27 April from Sydney.

Jimi L received this image from a friend!  Thanks Jimi!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Brazilian BizJet Arrives into Hamilton Island Airport Friday

Brazilian registered Dassault Falcon 7X PR-DNZ arrived into Hamilton Island Airport on Friday 27 April from Sydney.

Another bizjet - Raytheon Beechjet 400A VH-IPG - of Business Aviation Solutions - which is still at Hamilton Island Airport after arriving on Monday 23 April - will reportedly depart to the South on Saturday 28 April.

Lastly, Island Air Gippsland Aeronautics (GippsAero) GA-8 Air Van, VH-KIQ, which usually operates from Mackay Airport flying transfers to nearby Keswick Island, was noted at Hamilton Island Airport also on Friday 27 April.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Clermont Aerodrome on Wednesday

Arriving mid-afternoon on Wednesday 25 April at Clermont Aerodrome was Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-300 VH-QQN. It is pictured parked for the afternoon after arriving on a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) charter.  I think I even spotted the crew receiving a tour of the town of Clermont!

VH-QQN departed later in the early evening.

Arriving into Clermont Aerodrome on FIFO duties later that night were Advance Aviation Piper PA-31-350 Navajo VH-BCQ and then Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-100 VH-QQK.

VH-BCQ departed for Mackay, while VH-QQK departed back to Brisbane.

Mid Week Plane Spotting at Rockhampton and Gladstone Airports

After starting their day on Tuesday 24 April at Rockhampton Airport, one local spotter took the drive to Gladstone and was most impressed with the look and the action at Gladstone Airport! Before leaving Rockhampton though, they spotted QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOW in Taronga Dubbo Zoo colours.

At Gladstone Airport, a pair of HeliReef / Aviation Tourism Australia Bell 206 helicopters were photographed waiting for thier next flights out to the neighbouring islands.  Pictured is VH-CKP and VH-CKT.

Also spotted arriving from Brisbane was QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QON.

Certainly a great days spotting, but unfortunately there is the forecast of inclement weather on the horizon..