New helipad at Lockyer Valley airport set for service

HELICOPTERS will soon be able to land at the Lockyer Valley airport at the newly built emergency helipad marking the first major milestone of the airport project.

Construction of the helipad began six months ago on land donated to the Lockyer Valley Regional Council by airport owner Randal McFarlane in late 2011.

Plans for the privately owned airport at the Clarendon site were first unveiled mid-2010.

Lockyer Valley mayor Steve Jones said the key function of the helipad was giving the helicopters a place to land and refuel in emergency situations.

He said the helipad would allow the choppers to remain active for longer periods of time closer to the emergency.

The helipad will be fully functional next month.

Cr Jones said as the airport develops the helipad could be equipped with lighting and a building for paramedics to work on patients before the helicopter takes flight.

He said it was the perfect example of private enterprise working with local government to deliver infrastructure.

"It's one of the very few airports in Australia where you can buy your own land and build your own hanger," he said.

"There are lots of companies coming to do aircraft repairs. We could end up with quite a few people working at this facility."

The airport is flood-free and ideally situated to provide support for emergency services with fuel and other requirements.

Helicopters up to the size of the EMQ AW139, Army's Blackhawk and MRH90 models will be able to use the helipad.

LJ Hooker Toowoomba principal Mike Stewart said construction of the new airport was progressing quickly.

He said interest in the facility had been high.



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