Maryborough airport gets 2nd wind
MARYBOROUGH airport is warming up to take off on a new flight path to a brighter future.
The historic aerodrome’s fate hangs in the balance as the council waits for a consultant’s report, touted to be handed in this month, but the “heart” of Mayor Mick Kruger may yet turn the airport into an “aviation business hub”.
Mr Kruger says he envisages “a cluster of aviation industries right around the runway section” of the 174-hectare airport, of which some 52 hectares is currently being used.
“The report hasn’t come to council yet and of course I want to wait to see that. My heart says yes at this juncture but I need to read that report before I make a final decision.
“I do believe there is hope for the current tenants and for those wanting to move in.
“But with airports closing down on the Sunshine Coast and further south, there’s definite opportunity for us here,” said the mayor who has been favouring replacing Maryborough with a regional airport in about 15 years.
Meanwhile councillor Gerard O’Connell wants to turn Maryborough airport into a residential air park where business folk can live, operate from their own hangars, offices and sheds and attract people and investment to the region.
“I’ve been talking with some very interested and motivated people and there was a clear message that the time had come to develop special and related precincts within the embattled airport.
“We could encourage general aviation, aviation maintenance, pilot training and low-level big box retailing or outside sale complexes.
“A combination of these concepts would help our aviation sector and thus our economy reach potential.
“Importantly, this type of planning and promotion would increase investment in our region, provide new and innovative jobs, train and educate people with skills and careers, enhance an airport needed for emergency and health services and most significantly give a return on investment to ratepayers.
“Now is the time for us to make decisions and worthwhile investments for our future and Maryborough airport must figure strongly in that.
“I firmly believe we are fortunate as a region to have two operational airports in our local government area. The time is right to make decisions that will see these public facilities reach higher potential, service even greater need and increase financial returns.”