In­ter­na­tional flights in far fu­ture

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS -

TWO years ago it was an­nounced an in­ter­na­tional air­port was ex­pected to be de­vel­oped to ser­vice the Whit­sun­days.

To­day there’s still no sign of it.

Whit­sun­day Mayor An­drew Will­cox at the time said the plan was “very am­bi­tious” and was not achiev­able.

“There’s a lot more in­volved to make an in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal,” he said.

“We don’t have the room here for im­mi­gra­tion, bor­der se­cu­rity and cus­toms and we need to up­grade our ter­mi­nal to do that.”

Cr Will­cox said the new coun­cil de­cided it would spend money on im­prov­ing the do­mes­tic ter­mi­nal rather than try­ing to adapt for an in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal.

“An in­ter­na­tional pro­gram would give us 3000 seats but we’ve used less money and brought in 240,000 ex­tra seats do­mes­ti­cally,” he said.

“We’re de­vel­op­ing a $24.5 mil­lion run­way over­lay out here and we’ve put ten­ders out for that.

“In re­al­ity, even if we had all the money (to de­velop an in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal), it would still take four or five years to get it done.”

The State Gov­ern­ment has been ap­proached for a

$15 mil­lion grant to up­grade the ter­mi­nal and a re­sponse is ex­pected in the next few weeks.

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