Fliers should feel at home

Central and North Burnett Times - - LOCAL NEWS - Bran­don Livesay

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

North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil re­leased its Strate­gic Air­port Con­cept Plan on De­cem­ber 14.

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 on­line at south bur­nett­times.com.au.

Photo: Bran­don Livesay

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

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