PASSENGER numbers are down but the Rockhampton Airport continues to turn a profit.
That can be attributed to its multiple uses, according to Councillor Neil Fisher, chairman of the Rockhampton Regional Council's business enterprise committee.
"Rockhampton Airport mirrors the Rockhampton economy, in that there are multiple parts of the business that are actually contributing to it," Cr Fisher said.
"It is not just those who board or embark from planes that contribute to the airport's income," he said.
Military operations, the charter sector and large freight were helping to keep the airport "on the right side of the ledger", he said.
Passenger numbers (which include domestic and international charters) for the fourth quarter of 2013/14 were 163,151, down 4.3% on the 170,542 in 2012/13.
Year to date, they were down 5.1%, with 677,442 passengers in 2013/14, compared to 714,294 the previous year.
The business enterprise committee heard severe cuts to corporate and government travel budgets and recent job cuts in the resources sector were likely factors.
The latest data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics shows passenger movements for Rockhampton in July 2014 were down 8.8% on July 2013.
The Beef Capital was not alone; 30 of the top 50 regional airports in Australia were also in negative territory.
Other Central Queensland airports were also down: Emerald -10.3%, Mackay -8.4%, Gladstone -7.3% and Moranbah -6.2%.
Cr Fisher said there were constant fluctuations in the airport data.
"It is probably not so alarming because there is no real trend," he said.
"If everything was heading in the one direction and if other regional airports were all up, it would be concerning.
"But at the moment, one month there can be a disappointing figure and the next it bounces back."
Passenger movements for regional Australian airports for July 2014 (percentage change from July 2013)
Source: Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics
Highlights of the Bureau of Infrastructure and Regional Economics domestic aviation activity report for July 2014.
There were 5.28 million passengers carried on Australian domestic commercial aviation (including charter operations), a decrease of 1.4% on July 2013.
There were 60,675 aircraft trips, down 1.7% on July 2013.
Melbourne to Sydney remained Australia's busiest regular public transport route with 700,207 passengers. It was followed by Brisbane to Sydney, with 392,508 passengers and Brisbane to Melbourne with 295,385 passengers.
Sydney remained Australia's busiest airport with 2.19 million passenger movements, followed by Melbourne with 2.03 million and Brisbane with 1.53 million.