Gladstone is a rapidly growing industrial city on the Central Queensland coast. The airport caters primarily for business and leisure travellers and freight activities associated with the region's developed and emerging industrial complexes. The Airport is located approximately 5km from the city centre and is well catered for by taxi services.
Regular public transport (RPT) services are currently provided by QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) who provide approximately 50 Dash-8 operated flights per week between Gladstone and Brisbane, as well as 1-2 daily service along the coast connecting to Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns. From October 2011, Virgin Australia commenced almost daily flights between Gladstone and Brisbane, which are operated by Skywest Airlines using ATR 72-500 aircraft. There are 2-3 flights each weekday and on Sundays. Strategic Airlines operated to Gladstone from Brisbane with Airbus A320 aircraft, however they were forced to withdraw this service in August 2011.
Australian Helicopters is also a major operator at the Airport flying passengers to nearby Islands, as well as pilots and sailors to ships either moored or sailing off the coast. They have a major hangar and base near the General Aviation parking apron - which is East of the main Airport terminal as shown.
Spotting and photography is possible through the fences near the General Aviation apron - providing good views of visiting light aircraft and of the Australian Helicopters parking apron.
The Gladstone Airport terminal and runway and taxiways underwent a major redevelopment during 2010/2011. The main Airport runway (10/28) was lengthened and widened, and the exisiting Airport terminal was extensively overhauled with a new departure lounge and seating added, as well as the introduction of passenger security screening facilities. The opening of the Gladstone Airport's redeveloped runway and the renamed "Creed-Kanofski Airport Terminal Building" in April, marked a significant milestone in the growth and development of the Gladstone Region.
The Gladstone Airport terminal features two main aircraft parking aprons. An upper section which is predominately utilised by QantasLink, and a lower section which has been heavily overhauled and expanded for use by larger aircraft. Virgin Australia has been noted operating from this section of the Airport apron.
Strategic Airlines also parked their Airbus A320s at this part of the Airport - as shown below.
The Gladstone Airport Terminal is also effectively in two sections with the upper section featuring the check-in counters, car rental service desks, some general seating including a kiosk/bar, as well as the baggage collection carousel.
The Australian Helicopters check-in and lounge area is also in this section. From here passengers to the nearby Islands are walked to the Australian Helicopters hangar area which away from the terminal.
The lower section of the terminal features a new and improved and larger departure lounge which can only be accessed after passing a new security screening point. Spotting and photography is possible through the glass, giving nice views of the aircraft parked on the airport apron.
QantasLink is also currently constructing a QantasClub Lounge inside the terminal, with it expected to be open by October.
There are also views through the fencelines on the Eastern perimeter outside of the Airport terminal - although afternoon photos are backlit - as shown below.