Friday, January 14, 2011
Whitsunday Airport and WAVE at Airlie Beach
The Whitsunday Airport is located on Shute Harbour Road, near Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays.
We visited the Airport on Thursday 23 December and found the Whitsunday Airport is being transformed into a luxury 60 acre private estate airpark called the Whitsunday Aviation Village Estate, or WAVE. The $75 million gated estate - a relatively new concept in Australia - is the brainchild of a local private pilot, and features innovative hanger homes, an asphalt dual taxiway and 1410 metre runway, lush tropical surrounds and a commercial precinct - all characteristics no other airpark in the southern hemisphere can boast. As shown in the background of the photo below, the first full time resident of the airpark is already enjoying the lovely Whitsunday surrounds. Five more individually designed house and land packages are also now available, with construction already underway on two of these.
The airport also has many existing operators and facilities. Air Whitsunday Seaplanes - LINK - currently operates Cessna 208 Caravans and De Havilland DHC-2 Beavers on Island transfers and tours. Below are some pictures of Air Whitsunday Seaplanes Cessna 208 Caravans VH-PGA and VH-PGB parked outside their terminal.
De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver VH-AWI joined them later to wait for its next flight.
Aviation Tourism Australia (operating as Heli-Reef and Island-Air) also operates transfers and tours to the Whitsunday Islands from an onsite terminal. Heli Biz, who specialise in helicopter sales and service of Robinson Helicopters, also has an office and hangar facilities at Whitsunday Airport (shown below with a visiting Partenavia P.68). Airlie Beach Skydive also operates from the airport.
The Whitsunday Airport website - LINK - contains more information on the airports facilities and procedures, as well as the WAVE Airpark. The Gate Guard pictured at the top is Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer - it is marked as VG-AWS but is ex VH-AWY.
Spotting at the airport is easy with waist-fences and friendly local operators willing to take spotters airside to take photos.