Qantas could thrust region into spotlight
Qantas representatives are expected to visit the region in coming weeks, with two major decisions guiding the future of the Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport now hinging on the aviation giant.
Busselton was short-listed last month as one of nine potential locations for a new Qantas pilot training school, with the airport’s “uncongested airspace” and infrastructure key selling points.
The group has also signalled interest in introducing direct flight from the Eastern States through its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar.
While Qantas is yet to reveal whether it will pursue direct flights, the Environmental Protection Authority recently allowed for five night flights a week between midnight and 6am.
Qantas would not be drawn on Times’ questions on what constituted “uncongested airspace” and whether the two uses were in direct competition.
City of Busselton chief executive Mike Archer believed the two were “entirely complementary” and neither would preclude or hamper the other from proceeding.
A final decision on the academy’s location is expected to be made in the third quarter of this year. No timeline has been offered for a decision on direct flights.