Fliers should feel at home

AIRPORT PLANNING: Council CEO Mark Pitt at Gayndah Airport, which could be expanded into a regional hub.
AIRPORT PLANNING: Council CEO Mark Pitt at Gayndah Airport, which could be expanded into a regional hub. Brandon Livesay

THE region is positioning itself to be the home for fliers.

North Burnett Regional Council has released its Strategic Airport Concept Plan.

And its focus is to attract the general aviation sector to airports around the North Burnett.

North Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt said general aviation and recreational flying were markets the region "should be encouraging".

"With coastal airstrips becoming much busier, general aviation is getting pushed out," he said.

The council's concept plan identifies a gap for recreational and small business users between Kingaroy and Rockhampton, and between Bundaberg and Emerald.

According to the plan, "the topography within this area is ideal for training and recreational users ... and it is the indirect benefits that can be created through the flow-on benefit of providing hospitality for fliers and the increase in shire profile which may drive new residents".

The concept plan suggests expanding the Gayndah aerodrome into a "multi-user general aviation and emergency services hub for the region".

"Gayndah is a good strip because it sits high and dry and is accessible in emergencies and disasters," Mr Pitt said. There is also planning for a jet and avgas refuelling facility to be installed at Gayndah or Monto.

General aviation fliers are forced to use coastal ports, as there are no avgas facilities from Kingaroy to Rockhampton and west to Emerald.

Other recommendations included in the plan are a more proactive maintenance program for Eidsvold, Biggenden and Mt Perry, and the introduction of an improved aircraft landing system at Mundubbera.

Mr Pitt said the council's planners wanted to "ensure standards at our airstrips for emergency services and the Royal Flying Doctors".

North Burnett residents are encouraged to respond to the Strategic Airport Concept Plan. A town meeting will be held early next year to discuss the plan. 

What do you think about making the North Burnett a "home for fliers"? Let us know at editorial@southburnetttimes.com.au or join the conversation.

Topics:  aviation, biggenden, eidsvold, gayndah, monto, mt perry, mundubbera



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