Friday, September 30, 2011

TRIP REPORT - Gladstone to Brisbane to Gladstone - QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) - Dash-8-Q400

TRIP REPORT – Gladstone to Brisbane – Thursday 4 August – QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) – QF2335 – Dash-8-Q400 – VH-QOV.

My friend in Gladstone recently flew from Gladstone to Brisbane and back on QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) recently and he sends through a few thoughts in the form of the following Trip Report.

Having flown Strategic Airlines to Gladstone some weeks ago (Trip Report HERE), I decided to take a quick ‘joyflight’ on QantasLink as they are the longer more established airline on the Gladstone to Brisbane sector. I call it a ‘joyflight’ as I flew to Brisbane and back in the day.

Check-in was pretty easy – it was pretty quiet at the terminal – and then sat down and waited for the inbound flight to arrive. Soon enough VH-QOV arrived from Brisbane to take us South.

Boarding was pretty quick and painless – I even managed a quick photo of the cabin as I found my seat – QantasLink have the Dash-8-Q400s in a 2X2 style – and VH-QOV is one of the Q400s with the old style interior.

The cabin of the Q400 ‘appears’ narrow however space and seating comfort is actually respectable despite being a regional plane, albeit on the larger side. Door closed, the engines started up, and we taxied away from the terminal and headed out to the runway.

Early rotation and we were off to Brisbane – some nice views as we got airborne of Gladstone city and the harbour.

Also a nice view of the Red-Mud Dam which is a waste deposit reserve for QAL (Queensland Alumina Ltd) of which is an eye sore from the air but completely non-viewable from the ground. In fact, unless you fly over it - nobody would even know it is there.

As always, the flight between Brisbane and Gladstone is quick because of the Q400's high cruise speed and unless getting caught in a holding pattern for a period of time, the flight time is generally about 50 minutes – this is similar to the A320 block time when I flew Strategic Airlines flew between the two ports.

The QantasLink cabin service was pleasant and efficient, however being a short sector, efficiency must be a given. On this mid-morning flight we were served some delicious scones, as well as a water and tea and coffee.

Cabin service done, we were soon descending into Brisbane. Some nice views over Moreton Bay and Redcliffe (with Redcliffe Aerodrome clearly visible). Flying over the Houghton Highway and the ‘Hornibrook Viaduct’ soon had us landing on Runway 14 at Brisbane.

This is the secondary runway at Brisbane mostly used by lighter/regional aircraft, and means a much longer taxi distance to the terminal. Fortunately for us the pilot taxied us to the terminal at a fair old clip and we had pulled up to our remote gate at the Qantas terminal pretty much on schedule.

Disembarked and we jumped aboard a bus to take us to the terminal.

Plane spotting done, back down to the QantasLink waiting area to check-in and then wait for my return flight to Gladstone. Passengers with no bags – like me – can check in at this downstairs location – which is still past security screening. There are nice views over the QantasLink apron – although several layers of glass makes photography not so good!

TRIP REPORT – Brisbane to Gladstone – Thursday 4 August – QantasLink (Sunstate Airlines) – QF2340 – Dash-8-Q400 – VH-QOX.

Soon our flight was called through Gate One (of three in the downstairs QantasLink area of the Qantas terminal), and we were made to mull around for a couple of minutes before we were walked out about 30 metres to VH-QOX which was waiting for us near the terminal.

Busses are used if the aircraft is a long way away from the terminal.

Started up and taxied away pretty much on time and we headed for departure off Runway 01 at Brisbane. The departure to the North gave us nice views of the General Aviation Apron, Runway 14, Moreton Bay, and again Redcliffe.

For the most part, the return flight to Gladstone was absolutely beautiful from the air because of the predominately clear skies and the afternoon sun.

I even got the chance to enjoy a complementary beer with the light snack that was served – although chocolate mud cake slice doesn't mix to well with beer – ha ha!!

As we flew North, the clear skies were taking on a smokier look and as we approached Gladstone we could see a few burn-offs adjacent to Awoonga Dam - the main catchment for the Gladstone Region.

A smooth landing at Gladstone and soon after VH-QOX was parked on the upper apron in front of the terminal.

On a final note, it was interesting to note that on each and every flight that I have flown with QantasLink between Gladstone and Brisbane, their aircraft has always been booked to capacity or close to, whereas it appeared Strategic Airlines barely enticed 30 passengers per flight on an aircraft configured for 152 passengers.

Anyway two great flights with QantasLink – both very enjoyable – no problems – fantastic snacks – fantastic crews – and a fantastic ‘joyflight’ with some good spotting in Brisbane.

Thanks mate for the great report!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Overseas Bizjets Noted at Central Queensland Airports Recently

The latest edition of Australian Aviation reports on the following recent bizjet visitors to Central Queensland.

Bombardier Global Express, G-SANL, of Sanctuary Aviation in London, arrived in Proserpine from Hong Kong and Cairns on Tuesday 16 August. It reportedly remained there until Sunday 28 August when it departed for Hamilton Island and Cairns and Male.

Bombardier Challenger 605, B-LOL, arrived at Hamilton Island from Hong Kong and Cairns on Sunday 28 August. It later left for Sydney.

Lastly, on Wednesday 17 August, Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign N777DY arrived at Hamilton Island from Port Moresby.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Night Fly-In Fly-Out (FIFO) Movements at Clermont Aerodrome

A couple of photos of some of the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) action from Clermont Aerodrome late on Wednesday 28 September.

Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-Q300 VH-QQM arrived from and departed to Brisbane as SKP868/869.

Also spotted was a pair of Advance Aviation Piper PA-31 Navajos - VH-LWW (in front) and VH-BCQ.

I believe one departed to Mackay and one to Emerald.

Official Announcement - More QantasLink Flights and New Aircraft to Central Queensland Airports - UPDATED!!


'QantasLink expands investment in regional Queensland', Wednesday 28 September.

As previously posted on this Blog, QantasLink has today formally announced an increase in services to several of its Central Queensland destinations as well as the acquisition of two Boeing B717 aircraft for operations out of Brisbane.

QantasLink will celebrate the arrival of a new $30 million next generation 74-seat Dash-8-Q400 aircraft, which will deliver the following network enhancements from Monday 17 October:

- Moranbah services will increase in frequency with a new late afternoon service departing from Brisbane at 5pm on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. A Saturday service will also be introduced for the first time.
- Emerald customers will have access to an additional 396 seats per week with new flights introduced on Wednesdays and Saturdays. These upgrades will lift the number of return services to 38 per week

In addition to these enhancements, QantasLink will expand its network by launching a new Townsville to Moranbah service. From October this service will initially take-off twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays to provide customers with seamless connections to Cairns and between Far North Queensland and the Bowen Basin coal fields.

In addition to these announcements a new Qantas Regional Lounge will be officially opened in Emerald to offer Qantas Club members, and Platinum and Gold Frequent Flyers greater levels of comfort when travelling through this port.

Lastly, QantasLink has announced that the airline will acquire at least 2 additional Boeing B717 aircraft from Mexico. These two additional B717 aircraft will be based in Brisbane and (amongst other rumoured services) they are expected to replace the Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 aircraft that currently operate for QantasLink on the Brisbane to Rockhampton and Brisbane to Mackay sectors. These new 115 seater aircraft will commence service from early 2012.

Tuesday at Rockhampton Airport - McDermott Aviation Bell 214 and Singapore Airlines Charter

From one extreme to the other at Rockhampton Airport on Tuesday 27 September...

Arriving and departing in the early afternoon was McDermott Aviation's Bell 214B-1 'Biglifter' with American registration N49732. The big Bell - which was built in 1976 - was making its way South when it called at Rockhampton Airport for fuel.

Meanwhile another Singapore Airlines charter arrived in the evening with 9V-SQE arriving from and departing to Singapore as SIA8931/8932. Photos below!

Thanks again to the local spotters!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Singapore Airlines Charters to Rockhampton Airport - UPDATED!!

Singapore Airlines has begun a series of charters between Singapore and Rockhampton to transport members of the Singapore Armed Forces to participate in Exercise Wallaby 2011.

It is believed that there will be as many as 22 charters to Rockhampton, to be operated by Boeing B777-200 aircraft.

Spotted late on Sunday 25 September were 9V-SQB (operating as SIA8931/8932) and 9V-SQE (operating as SIA8933/8934). 9V-SQB is pictured below just after its arrival.

Meanwhile on Monday 26 September, B777-200s 9V-SQG and 9V-SQA were noted at Rockhampton Airport operating with the same flight numbers. 9V-SQG is pictured below at about 8.30pm.

Monday, September 26, 2011

RAAF Sergent Dies from Rockhampton Airport Portaloo Explosion Injuries

An Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Sergent caught in an explosion during the Talisman Sabre military exercise in central Queensland in July has has died of his injuries.

Sergeant Michael Dunn suffered third-degree burns to his upper body when the port-a-loo he was inside at Rockhampton Airport exploded. The Defence Department released a statement last week stating that he had died in hospital early on Wednesday 21 September.

The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, says the RAAF's thoughts are with Sergeant Dunn's family and colleagues. "Sergeant Dunn was highly respected and well-liked by his colleagues," he said in a statement.

Defence says a thorough investigation into the incident is continuing and further details may become available once the investigation is complete.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of Sergeant Dunn.

More pictures of Republic of Singapore Air Force Helicopters at Rockhampton Airport

Ben O spent some time at Rockhampton Airport over the weekend and provides us with some more lovely pictures of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) helicopters that are preparing for the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2011.

As previously mentioned, there are currently four Boeing AH-64D Apache and six Eurocopter AS332M Super Puma helicopters parked at Rockhampton Airport.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Republic of Singapore Airforce Exercise Wallaby at Rockhampton Airport - Super Puma and Apache Helicopter Pictures

Ben O popped into Rockhampton Airport on Thursday 22 September and grabbed a few quick photos of some of the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) helicopters that are preparing for the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2011.

As previously mentioned, there are currently four Boeing AH-64D Apache and six Eurocopter AS332M Super Puma helicopters parked at Rockhampton Airport.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Polet Aviakompania (Polet Airlines) Antonov AN-124 Pictures from Rockhampton This Week

Now that we are back in Central Queensland - and have access to a computer - we can present three pictures of the Antonov AN-124 freighter that was at Rockhampton Airport this week.

The Polet Aviakompania (Polet Airlines) operated AN-124 RA-82075 operated as "POT4762".

It dropped off four Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Boeing AH-64D Apache helicopters. These are on the ground at Rockhampton Airport along with six RSAF Aerospatiale AS332M Super Puma helicopters that flew in from their base at Oakey.

Thanks to Don W who sent us these pics!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Antonov AN-124 Freighter to Rockhampton Airport Tuesday

An Antonov AN-124 freighter is expected to arrive into Rockhampton sometime on Tuesday 20 September. Exact times are still not confirmed, and the information given above is always subject to change.

It is also expected that Singapore Airlines will operate a series of charters to Rockhampton Airport starting later this week.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Busy Mackay Airport Intersection to Receive Much Needed Upgrade

The Daily Mercury in Mackay has recently reported that a major intersection near Mackay Airport, which claimed the life of a young man four years ago, will soon be upgraded to alleviate peak hour traffic woes.

A slip lane will be constructed at the Milton St and Boundary Rd junction to allow for smoother traffic flow to and from Mackay Airport.

However, the slip lane is an interim measure as council's long-term plan is to install traffic lights at the intersection, which was the scene of a fatality in August 2007.

Mackay Regional Council Mayor Col Meng said discussions with Mackay Airport were already under way in regards to upgrading the junction and about what lighting could be installed, and it was anticipated construction would start after the wet season. There had also been discussions about resuming airport land for the intersection upgrade.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Virgin Australia Boeing B737-800s to Central Queensland Airports Thursday

Brand new Virgin Australia B737-800 VH-YIB was at Rockhampton Airport early on Thursday 15 September. It was believed to be operating its first ever revenue service as VOZ1231/1232.

Later in the day VH-YIA also paid a visit to Rockhampton.

A couple of other Virgin Australia B737-800s - that are still fairly new and wear the airline's new colours - were also noted around Central Queensland Airports on Thursday... VH-YIA also flew Brisbane to Hamilton Island return, VH-YFF flew Brisbane to Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast return, and VH-YFC flew Brisbane to Mackay return.

These new aircraft feature a new cabin interior as well as business class seating. It will most likely be quite rare to see these aircraft in Central Queensland, with Virgin Australia announcing last week that all flights between the East coast and Perth will now offer business class service.

Preparations Begin at Rockhampton Airport for Exercise Wallaby 2011

Don W at Rockhampton reports that preparations are beginning around Rockhampton Airport for the Singapore Armed Force's Exercise Wallaby 2011, which is scheduled to kick off next week.

The annual Exercise combines elements of the Republic of Singapore Army (RSA) and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). Rockhampton Airport is usually a staging point for most of the RSAF helicopters involved in the Exercise, as well as being the major port for inbound and outbound troop and cargo charters.

Spotted earlier this week on the ground at Rockhampton Airport was RSAF Lockheed C-130H Hercules '734'.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Qantas Foundation Memorial Catalina VH-EAX Touches Down at Longreach Airport Wednesday

As mentioned on the Blog yesterday, The Qantas Foundation Memorial (QFM), which operates the Qantas Founders Outback Museum at Longreach in Central Western Queensland, finally took delivery of Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina VH-EAX on Wednesday 14 September.

The Catalina is ex EC-EVK and was noted arriving into Darwin from Denpasar over this past weekend.

The Catalina vintage flying boat made its final landing and will be retired as an exhibit at the Qantas Founders Outback Museum. It will be restored to original camouflage colours and will illustrate the role Qantas pilots played during World War II, and also reveal the details of the rare and secret Order of the Double Sunrise.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fly-In Fly-Out Charter Flights Increasing at Clermont and Emerald Airports on Monday

With help from Lloyd F in Brisbane, we can report that Clermont Aerodrome had six fly-in fly-out (FIFO) flights from Brisbane on Monday 12 September.

Four of the flights were operated by Skytrans Dash-8 aircraft, with VH-QQK, VH-QQL, and VH-QQM all noted, but in what seems to be a new FIFO charter flight, Pel-Air (Regional Express - REX) SAAB 340A (VH-EKD) and a Metro aircraft were also noted departing Brisbane late Monday also for Clermont.

There was also a seemingly new FIFO charter flight operated by Skytrans from Brisbane to Emerald, with SKP1018 noted departing Brisbane early Monday as well.

Alliance Airlines also operated its 2 Fokker F-100 flights to Emerald from Brisbane on Monday as well, with VH-FKD and VH-FWI noted operating the flights.

Qantas Foundation Memorial Catalina VH-EAX to Touch Down at Longreach Airport Tuesday

The Qantas Foundation Memorial (QFM), which operates the Qantas Founders Outback Museum at Longreach in Central Western Queensland, is expected to take delivery of Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina VH-EAX on Tuesday 13 September.

The Catalina is ex EC-EVK and was noted arriving into Darwin from Denpasar over this past weekend.

From QFM website... "The This Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina is one of the aircraft types considered as an iconic Qantas aircraft. The significance of this type of aircraft to Qantas history was that they flew between Perth and Colombo (Sri Lanka) during World War 2. The flight was done in radio silence to prevent detection by Japanese forces. The flights took around 28 hours non stop."

"The Catalina was the very last flying boat type operated by Qantas and indeed a Catalina was the only Qantas aircraft ever destroyed by sabotage. Most importantly, through its Catalina flying boat operations across the Indian Ocean between 1943 and 1945 Qantas created, and still holds, a world-wide air service duration record that has never been broken – and probably never will!"

Moranbah's Caval Ridge Mine to be 100% Fly-In Fly-Out

The path has been cleared for a 100% fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce at BMA's Caval Ridge Mine near Moranbah, following the State Government's recent decision to approve BMA's the 100% FIFO workforce.

While the news is considered "a slap in the face" by some members of the Moranbah community, the company says it will not make a decision about the make up of the mine's workforce until later this year.

The Coordinator General's approval requires BMA to have 80% of its workforce "across all its operations" residing in the region. This clears the path for 100% FIFO at the mine.

The approval is conditional upon BMA building 400 dwellings, with 160 to be built in Moranbah by June 2013 and another 240 to be constructed across the Bowen Basin during the next four years.

Approval of BMA's Buffel Park Accommodation Village was also announced yesterday.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Central Queensland Helicopter Crash Survivor Stable

The sole survivor of the fatal helicopter crash at Double Mountain, about 90km north of Rockhampton on Thursday 8 September, remains in a stable condition in hospital.

Two men were killed when the chopper, Aerospatiale AS350 Squirrel VH-RDU, of Heli-Charters in Cairns, crashed in dense bushland, around midday on Thursday.

The only survivor, who suffered serious injuries, remains in a stable condition at Rockhampton Base Hospital after being air-lifted by rescue crews late Thursday.

Rescue helicopters carrying doctors and paramedics from Rockhampton and Mackay flew to the site after the pilot had contacted police at midday by radio shortly before crashing.

The RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue chopper and RACQ Central Queensland Rescue (CQ Rescue) helicopter were both tasked to the site of the helicopter crash. A spokesperson for CQ Rescue said rescuers were amazed at the survivor's condition, considering the horrendous scene that they were greeted with.

The CQ Rescue Bell 412EP VH-EPK is pictured below flying to the crash site on Friday 9 September.

The difficult terrain caused problems for the rescuers. It is believed that the chopper landed upside down in heavily wooded bushland at the base of a steep embankment on Double Mountain in the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has taken control of the crash site, and police are preparing a report for the Coroner.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bizjet and FIFO Movements at Clermont Aerodrome This Week

It is believed that Raytheon 390 Premier I bizjet VH-VHP (of Sydney Jet Charter) popped into Clermont Aerodrome on Wednesday 7 September.

On Thursday 8 September, there could have been as many as seven Skytrans Dash-8 fly-in fly-out (FIFO) arrivals into Clermont Aerodrome.

Dash-8-100 VH-QQK and Dash-8-300 VH-QQM are believed to have flown two return flights from and to Brisbane (possibly via Emerald Airport too), while Dash-8-100 VH-QQJ flew Cairns-Clermont-Brisbane-Clermont as well. There was also a flight from Clermont to Mackay and return tonight too.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Two Men Confirmed Dead After Helicopter Crash Near Shoalwater Bay

Two men are confirmed dead after a helicopter crashed in rugged bushland near Shoalwater Bay on Thursday 8 September.

Three people were aboard the Aerospatiale AS350 Squirrel, when it went down at Double Mountain, north of Byfield near Shoalwater Bay, north of Rockhampton, about 12.20pm.

Two rescue choppers were sent to the scene. Crews treated the sole survivor at the scene for a shoulder injury. He was flown to Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Police have confirmed two other men died at the scene of the crash, which happened in inaccessible terrain.

Rescuers were unable to remove the two bodies trapped in the wreckage, and the scene will be guarded overnight until police can bring in a helicopter again in the morning to try and remove the deceased men.

The pilot had radioed police before the crash.

The the helicopter was a charter belonging to Cairns-based Heli Charters. The squirrel is believed to be VH-RDU which is pictured below in Cairns in 2009.

The chopper is at the base of a 40m embankment and rescuers have had to navigate thick trees and scrub to get to the people who were on board.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating the cause of the accident.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims families.

Cessna 182 Association of Australia Spring Fly-in to be Held on the Capricorn Coast This Weekend

Information has come to hand about the Cessna 182 Association of Australia spring fly-in, which is to held at the Hedlow Airfield on the Capricorn Coast, about 11nm North-East of Rockhampton this weekend.

Participating aircraft are expected to begin arriving on Friday 9 September, with a full weekend of activities planned for participants.

The Cessna 182 Association of Australia holds two fly-ins each year, in autumn and spring.

More information can be found on their website HERE.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Strategic Airlines Releases New Air Australia Livery

Strategic Airlines has released the first images of the airline’s new 'Air Australia' livery to be introduced later this year.

The new branding was designed for the airline by CumminsRoss.

Launched in 2009 and headquartered in Brisbane, Strategic Airlines - soon to morph into Air Australia - is the nation's newest domestic and international carrier.

The airline operates scheduled passenger services on routes including Melbourne-Phuket, Brisbane-Phuket, Brisbane-Bali, Brisbane-Port Hedland and Perth-Derby. Domestic flights between Melbourne to Brisbane and direct flights from Melbourne to Honolulu and Brisbane to Honolulu will commence from December, 2011.

It plans to move to seven leased A330s over the next three years, with the fleet growing to three by the first quarter of next year.

An additional A320 will come to Australia later this year to bolster the three narrow-body planes already here and a fifth could be added early next year. It has added an A320 base in Melbourne.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New Fly-In Fly-Out Route to Start from Wollongong to Emerald Airport - UPDATED!!

The Courier Mail last week reported that sacked New South Wales steel workers could soon begin fly-in fly-out (FIFO) work in central Queensland coal mines, as regional airlines jostle for approval to run regular FIFO flights between Wollongong and Emerald Airports.

Pel-Air Aviation (Regional Express - REX) has already commenced ad-hoc SAAB 340A and Metro flights from Wollongong to Emerald via Brisbane.

Skytrans Airlines have also jumped on the bandwagon, with Dash-8-300 VH-QQM noted in the air over Sydney, possibly flying into Wollongong last week.

QantasLink are also reported to be planning 70-seat Dash-8-Q400 flights to Emerald as well.

Lloyd F in Brisbane has also noted that some of the Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100s that fly into Emerald Airport on most Mondays and Thursdays, occassionally operate Brisbane-Emerald-Port Macquarie-Brisbane or in reverse.

UPDATE! Lloyd F reports that over the last week or so the following new FIFO services have been noted departing Brisbane Airport for Emerald and Wollongong Airports on a Monday and Thursday...

Pel-Air (Regional Express - REX) Metro BNE-WOL-EMD-BNE
Brindabella BAe J41 BNE-WOL-EMD-BNE

Skytrans Dash-8-300 BNE-EMD-WOL-BNE as SKP1030

This information is of course subject to alteration, but it looks like this new route is becoming quite busy!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Recent Mackay Airport News and Fly-In Fly-Out Charter Movements

Two snippets of news from Mackay Airport this week with a new Airport general manager announced and the Airport Cafe baristas awarded the nations best.

Robert Porter has been announced by North Queensland Airports as the new Mackay Airport general manager, replacing Terry Simpson, who has retired.

Mr Porter brings a strong aviation background and sound leadership capabilities to the role having recently filled senior management roles at Gold Coast Airport in aviation services and operations and standards.

He will take up his position as general manager in October.

Meanwhile Mackay Airport DeliMarche Cafe barista Enselika Kisina has won the national Compass Group Lavazza great barista competition.

Fellow barista and colleague, Sarah Jupp, also participated and was a runner up in the competition, held in Sydney last Friday.

Enselika was the youngest of 13 finalists who had 15 minutes to prepare 10 coffees.

Lastly, Adam P reports that the Western freight apron area of Mackay Airport seems to be turning more into a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) apron. One recent aircraft that arrived at Mackay Airport and has been noted operating to nearby mine sites is Pilatus PC-12/45 VH-YDO.

Also recently sighted were Piper PA-31's VH-BYG (pictured above) and VH-BCQ. These aircraft are believed to be operated by Advance Aviation which has also recently opened hangar facilities and offices in the old CQ Rescue building.

Also noted by Adam P at Mackay Airport has been to apparent introduction of a four-times-weekly Skytrans Airlines Dash-8 FIFO charter run between Clermont and Mackay. Dash-8-100 VH-QQH was noted flying out of Mackay Airport late Monday 29 August, while Dash-8-300 VH-QQM was noted flying into Clermont Aerodrome from Mackay early on Friday 2 September.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Whitsunday Coast / Proserpine Airport Names New General Manager While Upgrade Continues

The name of the new general manager of business and development for the Whitsunday Coast / Proserpine Airport has been announced, and he will seemingly have a big job ahead of him.

Scott Waters previously worked for Townsville Enterprise and will be taking on the job of marketing the airport from September 19. This new role was created by the Whitsunday Regional Council after hefty budget cuts to Tourism Whitsundays and Enterprise Whitsundays in May.

Meanwhile, some Airlie Beach business owners have begun a push to bring back direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to the Whitsunday Coast / Proserpine Airport to help boost tourism at Airlie Beach.

Whitsunday Mayor Mike Brunker said the council would "certainly be" pushing for the direct services after an Airlie Beach business owner said they were needed to help tourism take off.

There are currently direct flights available from Sydney and Melbourne to Hamilton Island, however business owners believe it was important the Whitsunday Coast / Proserpine Airport had some of its own.

Lastly, the Whitsunday Coast / Proserpine Airport upgrade is continuing and is expected to be completed later this month.

Council is still waiting on departmental advice before it determines the cost of paid parking which will be introduced at the car park once construction is complete.