Mackay Airport is recording an increase in passengers every year, and about 40% of current passengers through Mackay Airport are Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) workers.
As a result, Mackay Airport is calling on mining companies and airlines to establish more direct flights from some of the resource sector's employment hubs, like the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast, and Cairns.
In 2012 there were 1,124,000 passengers through Mackay Airport. This was a 4.7% increase on the previous year. In January alone, there were 91,000 passengers, which is an increase of 5.7% on January 2012.
Meanwhile, The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has released an update to air transport trends in regional Australia showing a rise in flights to and from inner and outer regional areas.
There has been an unprecedented 10.2% rise in flights to the nation's most remote areas since 2007, which most like attributable to FIFO. While the big rise in passenger movements was at very remote airports, inner and outer regional airports also had growth of 3.3% and 4.4% respectively.
Interestingly, the total number of regional airports in Australia rose from 148 in 2010 to 171 airports in 2012, reversing the longer-term trend of regional and remote airports being shut down.