EIDSVOLD residents were disappointed at their exclusion from $13.7 million of upgrades to North Burnett airports after complaints by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Gayndah, Mundubbera and Monto airports will benefit from $8.23 million to upgrade runways, ground lighting and instrument arrival procedures through Royalties for the Regions.
A further $4.9 million to lift and flood-proof Mundubbera airstrip has been funded through National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
Eidsvold resident Dot Hamilton OAM said the exclusion was disappointing given their airport was above flood level and suitable as an emergency hub.
“And from the health aspect, when patients have to be flown out, it is very imperative this airport is kept up to a high standard for safety reasons,” she said.
North Burnett Regional Council acting CEO Brendan Pearce said the council had conformed to an upper limit of $10 million for their Royalties for the Regions applications, and “Eidsvold airport might be a candidate for an upgrade” at a later time.
Royal Flying Doctors Service line operations manager Captain Chris Wimpenny said their letter of support highlighted safety concerns, such as “ruts and cracks on the surface” of Gayndah airport, and the need to land larger aircraft.
A new King Air B350C had been bought to service the North Burnett, as the King Air B200 is no longer in production, he said.
The current fleet of King Air B200 aircraft are able to land at North Burnett airports “in their current state”, he said.
Mayor Don-Waugh said this year’s construction of the federally-funded Emergency Co-ordination Centre at Gayndah airport would “fit well” with the upgrade.