Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport has undoubtedly had one of their busier weeks this week, with a few aircraft landing after diverting from Hamilton Island Airport, as well as some 'extra' flights touching down on Thursday 23 July and Friday 24 July presumably to help clear the backlog of stranded passengers who have been forced to catch a ferry from Hamo to mainland before they could fly South.
On Friday 24 July, Virgin Australia operated a pair of additional flights into Proserpine - one from Brisbane and one from Sydney with B737-800 VH-VUZ flying BNE-PPP-BNE as VOZ9521/VA9522, while B737-800 VH-VUO flew SYD-PPP-SYD as VOZ9519/VA9518.
On Thursday 23 July, Virgin positioned B737-800 VH-YVA to Prosie from Brisbane as VOZ9905. Then departed to the Gold Coast as VOZ9007.
Also on Thursday, Alliance Airlines operated Fokker F-70 into Proserpine from Sydney as UTY582, departing to Brisbane as UTY583, no doubt carrying stranded passengers.
Meanwhile, ambitious plans for Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport were announced this week, on the back of the release of passengers figures that show the Airport is on for its most successful year on record.
Following the Airport's $800,000 runway and approach lighting upgrade earlier this year, Council has announced plans in their Budget to (amongst other things) lengthen the Airport runway by 327m, bringing it to an International standard within the next five years, paving the way for long-haul international flights to service the Airport.
Expansion of one of the aprons, used to get passengers on and off planes, was also proposed.
Once the runway overhaul was finished, it was announced that New Zealand and Chinese carriers would be the first flying in.
Australian visitors were also set to benefit, with the domestic terminal set to get more than three times bigger by 2020.
All up, more than $59 million was planned be spent on the airport and its infrastructure in the next five years, but major provisions for the mid to long term were also laid out.