And there has certainly been some major changes to Roma Airport since I was there last – and it is to be expected given that Roma is becoming a major hub of the nearby Surat Basin Coal Seam Gas (CSG) developments.
Roma Airport has a new terminal building and facilities, along with a new Airport aircraft parking apron. There is also a new user-pays public carpark.
This was the Maranoa Regional Council’s largest project to date. The $14 million upgrade was supported by the State Government and energy sector organisations Santos GLNG and Australia Pacific LNG, with contributions of $4.7 million, $2.5 million and $1 million, respectively. The project included construction of the new terminal building, a 274 space car park with security lighting, stronger runway and taxiway and improved apron to accommodate larger aircraft.
The new facility commenced operations in April 2012.
In terms of aircraft, Roma is a one of regional Queensland’s busiest Airports – particularly on week days with scheduled Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services from Brisbane to Roma – and on occasion on to Charleville – operated by QantasLink Dash-8 aircraft.
The majority of weekday movements however are confined to fly-in fly-out (FIFO) charter flights from other cities and towns all over Queensland – from larger Skytrans Dash-8s and Vincent Aviation’s SAAB 340 VH-VNU and BAe 146 ZK-ECO which fly in from Brisbane – to smaller King Air and other light turbo-prop aircraft which fly in from Toowoomba and other parts of Queensland.
Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Raytheon B200 King Air VH-FDZ (“FlyDoc 458”) is based at Roma, and it transports medical experts and surgeons to other towns all over regional Queensland.
Roma also receives further King Air and Pilatus PC-12 RFDS movements, and a Careflight Bell 412 Rescue helicopter is also based at Roma – a helicopter rescue service partly funded by the nearby Surat Basin CSG companies.
I last visited Roma in 2003 and I am certainly surprised by the massive changes at Roma Airport – it is certainly on the agenda now for me to head back there!
Thanks to Brendan for taking the time to send through some of his images from his brief time at Roma – they are really great photos – and I sincerely thank Brendan for his continuing support of the CQ Plane Spotting Blog!
Photos taken by Brendan Berry ©