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Ludwig keen to see international airport for Rockhampton

"IT may take time", but Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig's push to land Central Queensland among key international destination circles could see the region's tourism market take off.

This week Cr Ludwig said he wanted Rockhampton Airport's potential to become a designated international destination for overseas passenger flights back on the cards.

He believed with healthy draw-card projects like the $600 million Iwasaki expansion and the Great Keppel Island resort development, Central Queensland would pit itself against major Queensland tourism centres like The Gold Coast and Cairns.

"This is something we need to look at again ... on the Capricorn Coast we will become an inter-state, intra-state and international destination," he said.

But Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said it was unlikely the airport would secure any international passenger flights with costs and resources needed for quarantine and customs procedures.

"This has been a constant theme for us for many years and we are well aware of the large economic benefits this could have on our region," she said.

Rockhampton Airport only receives international charter flights.

Business Enterprise Committee chairman Neil Fisher said the region lost 185,000 passengers a year when the Great Keppel Island resort closed for business.

Cr Fisher said the prospect of international passenger flights into Rockhampton Airport  would increase potential tourism and trade opportunities in Asia.

(Correction) Cr Fisher also said Rockhampton Airport had the third largest runway in the State, not that it was the third largest airport in the State as was previously reported in this article.

Rockhampton Airport manager Trevor Heard said a significant issue with Rockhampton becoming a fully-fledged international airport was having good population numbers because it was a factor airlines would consider.

Handling the big air cargo

Rockhampton Airport has the runways to handle some of the world's largest aircrafts, including B747s, B777s and A340s

The airport has approximately 750,000 passengers passing throughout the terminal every year.

Topics:  bill ludwig rockhampton airport tourism



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