Council endorses airport plan

FLIGHTS to North Queensland, widening the landing strip and building extra hangars are all on the cards for Hervey Bay’s airport, says Fraser Coast councillor Gerard O’Connell.

In yesterday’s council meeting the draft of stages one and two of the Fraser Coast Airports Master Plan was endorsed by councillors and handed over to the public for 60 days consultation.

Stage three, which incorporates the Maryborough Airport, is expected to be put on the table in the coming months.

The document outlines plans for the region’s two airports in the coming two decades.

Cr O’Connell said that while many of the plans were set down for much further down the track, many concepts and plans were being talked about now.

He described the aviation and marine industries as “two top shelf economic drivers” for the region and believed the airports could play a major role in attracting big business to the area.

“Regions around Australia are crying out for airports but we are in the unique situation where we’ve got two,” he said.

“This puts us in a great position ... to be able to say ‘hey we’ve got a middle of the road council here with two extremely valuable assets you can tap into’.”

Cr O’Connell also said there was a “renewed push” for flights to North Queensland.

He understood northern flights probably wouldn’t be sustainable on a daily basis but that the “milk run” idea which encourages holiday-makers to make various stops up the coast could work.

The idea is that tourists can fly from Sydney to Hervey Bay to see Fraser Island and the whales and then continue to places such as Mackay and Cairns without having to back-track to Brisbane.



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