Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Recent Changes to Some Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) Flights at Central Queensland Airports

There has been a few changes to some Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) charter flights into Central Queensland.

In my backyard at Clermont Aerodrome, there has been a small decrease in the number of Skytrans operated FIFO charters into Clermont from Brisbane.  Some recently added flights on a Wednesday and Thursday have now been stopped, and some flights on the usually busy Monday into Tuesday and Thursday into Friday timeslots are no longer occurring   (Note:  the photo above shows the Clermont Aerodrome apron on Tuesday 11 December - still looking quite busy!)

Some other FIFO charters operated by smaller aircraft have ceased.  Australasian Jet King Air charters from Brisbane and Bourke/Deniliquin have stopped, while the mixture of Hinterland Aviation and Barrier Aviation charters from Innisfail and Townsville have also stopped.  It has to be said though, that most of these mentioned FIFO flights were for drilling companies that popped up all over the local area searching for (presumably) Coal Seam Gas (GSG).

Down the road at Emerald Airport, the main FIFO charter operator, AERgO has downgraded all its flights to be now operated by turbo-prop aircraft.  Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 jets were a common sight operating for AERgO, but now the Monday, Wednesday and Friday flights are being operated by Skytrans Airlines Dash-8-300 aircraft.  The usual Regional Express (REX) operated SAAB 340B flights still touch down from Brisbane every Tuesday night and Wednesday morning as shown below by this recent photo of the bright and colourful VH-ZJS at Emerald Airport.

There doesn't really seem to be much other change at Emerald Airport, with the usual smattering of smaller aircraft arriving and departing each week, including Aero Commute Australia (ACA) aircraft flying between Emerald and the Sunshine Coast and Hervey Bay (as shown by ACA Piper PA-31-350 VH-KGE at Emerald Airport on Monday 10 December).

Lastly, Moranbah Airport seems to be bucking the trend and going from strength to strength, with as many as 60 QantasLink Dash-8 operated flights touching down from Brisbane and Townsville some weeks.  These flights are a mix of scheduled Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) and FIFO flights.  Virgin Australia still operates ad-hoc FIFO flights between Townsville and Moranbah with Skywest Airlines-operated ATR 72 aircraft (as shown below).  There are also a steady stream of light aircraft popping into Moranbah each week from various locations, mostly in the South-East corner of Queensland, no doubt operating FIFO charters.

Lastly, Doongmabulla Aerodrome (YDNB), which is about 200km North-West of Clermont, in the Galilee Coal Basin, is becoming a popular destination for FIFO flights operated by various light aircraft and operators.  For instance, I found the photo below of KJM Contractors Raytheon B200 King Air VH-KMS at Doongmabulla Aerodrome on the Flightaware flight tracking website.

Most flights to Doonmabulla are originating in the South-East corner, however some are departing from Clermont, Emerald, and Moranbah. 

Certainly interesting times ahead!

No comments:

Post a Comment