Rockhampton Regional Council is in talks with airlines as it pushes for a six-month trial for international flights direct to the region.
Rockhampton Regional Council is in talks with airlines as it pushes for a six-month trial for international flights direct to the region. SCOTT POWICK

BRIGHT FUTURE: Rocky airport to go sky high

AS HE waited in departures for his Brisbane-bound plane to take off, David Hutchinson embraced the concept of taking direct, triangulated international flights from Rockhampton Airport.

The Bouldercombe man knows that flights to destinations such as New Zealand, Singapore and Chine would benefit tourism and jobs in the region, and bring more money to the town.

"Anything like that is good for the area," Mr Hutchinson said.

"Everything is out of Brisbane...too much is spent in Brisbane and places like this miss out."

 

FLYING HIGH: Bouldercombe resident David Hutchinson (pictured with his daughter) said he would take advantage of direct international flights from Rockhampton Airport.
FLYING HIGH: Bouldercombe resident David Hutchinson (pictured with his daughter) said he would take advantage of direct international flights from Rockhampton Airport. Sean Fox

Rockhampton Regional councillor and Airport Committee chair, Neil Fisher, has been holding discussions with international airlines and airports and says there are great opportunities ahead for direct, triangulated flights out of the regional hub.

This update follows Mayor Margaret Strelow's proposal in July 2017 for a six-month trial to establish these flights.

At the time she said the trial was best understood as a council being prepared to pay for customs officers and incentives to allow a number of things to be trialled.

Cr Fisher said the trail was a progressive step the region was determined to make.

Cr Fisher said many airlines "see greater benefit in building relationships away from capital cities and congested areas".

 

Cr Neil Fisher at Rockhampton airport with a 747 on the tarmac.
Cr Neil Fisher at Rockhampton airport with a 747 on the tarmac. Allan Reinikka ROK260717a747airp

He added there were a number of opportunities for it to become a reality and there was a desire internationally to build links with centres with consideration of culturally-based backgrounds.

According to Mr Fisher, about 47,000 passengers travelled from Rockhampton Airport in March and with Beef Australia 2018 fast approaching, May is set to be a big month for air travel in the Beef Capital with major carrier Qantas increasing flights for next month.

Cr Fisher said exporting produce by air out of Rockhampton was another step the region was moving towards.

He said it was important to improve transport links to the airport to assist this process and part of that vision included a ring road with airport access.

Mr Fisher said a ring road would be "critically important for our economic growth in the future" and create "open movement of freight internationally".

It has long been proposed for a ring road to be established at Rockhampton to allow heavy vehicles to be moved out of the Beef Capital, preventing traffic congestion through the city.

PASSENGER NUMBERS

  • February 2017 - 41,884
  • February 2018 - 39,008
  • March 2018 - About 47,000


Former Mount Morgan swimmer becomes coaching immortal

premium_icon Former Mount Morgan swimmer becomes coaching immortal

Bill Sweetenham has come a long way from his humble beginnings in CQ

Man threatened to slash his mother's throat over sugar

premium_icon Man threatened to slash his mother's throat over sugar

'Bring me some f---ing sugar now or I'll cut your f---ing throat'.

Train drivers blow the whistle on CQ motorist near misses

premium_icon Train drivers blow the whistle on CQ motorist near misses

Shocking accounts of poor driving endangering train driver's lives.

Local Partners