Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mining Slowdown to Force Emerald Airport Budget Down

The local CQ News newspaper has this week reported that money is flying out of the Emerald Airport with fears its 2014-15 income will plummet $1 million below budget.  The Central Highlands Regional Council is blaming the loss mostly due to the downturn in the resources industry, forcing a decrease in passenger numbers.

QantasLink Dash-8-Q400 VH-QOS at Emerald Airport  (File photo)

Council had framed the airport budget around a projected 280,000 passengers, however this figure has had to be revised down where passenger numbers will be somewhere between 220,000 and 250,000.

Also, Virgin Australia and Qantaslink owe the Council a total of $606,000 in outstanding charges.  It's also reported that both Virgin and Qantas submitted a request to council for financial relief, which was not approved.

Virgin ATR 72 VH-FVM at Emerald Airport  (File photo)

In the application received by council, Qantas asked for financial relief in the form of revised passenger charges, while Virgin wanted a 50% reduction in handling fees for a six-month period.  Both cited financial hardship.

The Isaac and Barcaldine councils also reportedly knocked them back.

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