PILOTS, PATIENTS WELCOME PROJECT
Aerodrome upgrades finished, and things are looking good for essential services:
PILOTS using the Monto Aerodrome have spoken highly of the tarmac quality since the new upgrades were finished.
Though it still has no pilots based in the area, Angel Flight has been getting busier in Monto, having taken 12 flights in the space of a year.
Angel Flight chief executive officer Marjorie Pagani said with the upgrades finished, the level of safety had vastly improved.
“I’d just like to applaud all concerned for making this happen. It’s something very dear to our hearts,” Ms Pagani said.
Monto resident Paul Irvine is one of the primary users of the service, and has been one of two regular users of the service.
In the last few trips he’s taken to the Royal Brisbane Hospital for cancer treatment, Mr Irvine said he had noticed a considerable change.
“I’ve had a couple of flights since they’ve done it and it seems to be a lot better,” he said.
“They get a bit rough normally when they come down, they’re only these little aeroplanes.”
Keith Miller, who’s due to take a trip out to pick up Mr Irvine next week, said landing and taxi on the runway in his Cessna 182 single-engine was like driving a car.
“The new surface is particularly smooth, so that makes it easier to take off,” Mr Miller said.
As flying doctor pilots generally did not get called in for night flights, Mr Miller said he didn’t have an opinion on the new ground lighting.
However, he believes airports are an important gateway to the community.
❝ To me, airports are a great community asset and these upgrades give people more reason to visit.
— Keith Miller, pilot
“To me, airports are a great community asset and these upgrades give people more reason to visit,” Mr Miller said.
“Country airports become a lifeline to the rest of the community.”
Commercial pilots will occasionally fly up to visit a previous destination in their free time, so first impressions count for a lot.
Scott Hutchinson, one of the first pilots to fly to Monto for Angel Flight, said he normally took exception to landing on bush strips.
Monto’s aerodrome however, is an exception.
“My aircraft, an SR-22 is quite sleek and expensive, and a lot of these bush landing strips you need a fair amount of distance, there’s often bush and obstructions on either side,” Mr Hutchinson said.
“I don’t remember how it was when I started, but lately I’ve been taking my daughter on trips and I’ve noticed how nice it’s gotten.
“It’s a good surface.”
LIKE A CAR: Paul Irvine's last trip on Monto Aerodrome went much smoother thanks to the new upgrades.