Future bright for Maryborough Airport, council claims
THE Fraser Coast council has insisted Maryborough Airport has a "strong future" despite reports the Heritage City's airstrip faces funding uncertainty.
It comes after the Australian Airports Association called on the Federal Government to create a $100 million fund to finance regional airports across Queensland and the country.
Maryborough was named one of 40 airports facing financial problems, alongside Bundaberg, Roma, Miles, Chinchilla, Windorah, Charters Towers, Warwick, Dalby, Proserpine, and Redcliffe.
But the Fraser Coast Regional Council said they were currently working with private investors on development opportunities for the Maryborough Airport.
AAA CEO Caroline Wilkie said the funding was needed for essential maintenance and upgrades to ensure these airports survive.
"The council is working closely with the AAA and welcomes its support representing our airports on funding and other aviation matters that affect regional airports across the country," Councillor Paul Truscott said.
"It is our vision to be at the forefront of developing and capitalising on a variety of innovative opportunities to deliver long-term, sustainable economic and community benefits.
"In the past couple of years council has invested significant funding into the airport facilities which has included a relocation of the windsock and weather station, as well as a runway overlay."
Last month, aviation fuel became available at the airport after an absence of 10 years.
About 2000L of fuel went through the site in the first two days.
Since then, Maryborough Aero president Chris Putney said there had been a definite increase in traffic along the airstrip.
But he said red tape needed to stay out of the operation of the site if it was to stay viable in the future.
"It's a great little airport that is totally under-utilised and because of that the air doctors have free reign," Mr Putney said.
"But if it closes down, it would leave a black hole for people requiring emergency transport to hospitals inter-state.
"There is a lot more aviation coming through now but we need the main building to have the necessary facilities to cater to people who will stop there."