Up­grade snub

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Shirley Way shirley.way@cnbtimes.com.au

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.

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