Monday, February 15, 2016

A Visit by the Prime Minister Brings RAAF Bizjets to Mackay and Rockhampton Airports

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has embarked on a tour of North and Central Queensland and on Monday 15 February a pair of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bizjets of the RAAF's VIP 34 Squadron in Canberra were noted at Mackay and Rockhampton Airports.

Prime Minister Turnbull was believed to have initially arrived at Cairns Airport late on Sunday 14 February from Sydney on board RAAF Boeing B737-7DF(BBJ) A36-002 which flew in as "Consort 36". It appears he then flew South on Monday 15 February to Townsville, Mackay and the Rockhampton on board fellow RAAF Boeing B737-7DT(BBJ) A36-001 - which also used the radio callsign of "Consort 36".  A36-001 was due to remain at Rockhampton Airport for the night.

I'm told A36-001 also arrived in Cairns on Sunday 14 February, albeit a little earlier in the day, using the radio callsign of "Envoy 37".

On Monday 15 February, A36-002 was noted flying as "Envoy 37" on a flight from Cairns to Townsville.

Meanwhile, noted joining the B737BBJ at Mackay Airport on Monday 15 February was RAAF Canadair CL-600-2B16 Challenger 604 bizjet A37-002, which appeared to arrive from Narrabri in Northern New South Wales as "Wisdom 43".

I believe the Challenger brought new National Party Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to Mackay to join Prime Minister Turnbull for the tour.  Mr Joyce was also noted leaving the RAAF B737BBJ after it landed at Rocky.

A37-002 was later noted departing Mackay for Canberra.

At the time of writing it is not known where A36-001 (or even A36-002) will head to on Tuesday 16 February.  Watch this space!

UPDATE!  I'm told that A36-001 will visit Bundaberg Airport at some stage during Tuesday 16 February.  Local plane spotter 'IAD' popped out to Rockhampton Airport for a few more early morning photos as the RAAF B737BBJ sat quietly on the Rockhampton Airport apron!

Finally, I believe Alliance Airlines Fokker F-100 VH-XWS may have also been involved with transporting media and other personnel in support of Prime Minister Turnbull's visit as it was noted flying between Cairns and Mackay and then Rockhampton on Monday 15 February.  VH-XWS then returned to Cairns from Rocky as UTY2602/2603.

Sincere thanks to local plane spotter 'IAD' for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos!

All photos taken by 'IAD'  ©

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