The upgraded Miles Aerodrome has reopened after gaining Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) approval, paving the way for larger aircraft, and a reduction in traffic using local roads.
The upgraded aerodrome is owned and managed by Western Downs Regional Council and passed CASA inspections and certification audits without issue. The runway upgrade project, at a total cost of $20 million at completion, was managed by Origin on behalf of Australia Pacific LNG.
As part of the upgrade the runway has been extended, widened and strengthened, with lighting to support all weather and night/day operations, and a new pavement surface designed to handle larger 70-seat aircraft.
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Ray Brown said the upgraded aerodrome provided the local community with valuable, high quality infrastructure that will support local regional economic development for many decades.
“The new, upgraded aerodrome will provide a central focus and transport hub for sustainable, long term growth in this region,” Cr Brown said. “This is a terrific asset for our region and further evidence of council’s ability to work with resource companies to manage sustainable development for the future benefit of our community.”
Origin Chief Executive Officer, LNG, David Baldwin said a detailed assessment identified upgrading the Miles Aerodrome as the safest and most cost effective option for managing peak project construction workforce levels and ongoing operational requirements.
“We recognise that our operations can affect local communities, so upgrading the Miles Aerodrome was the best solution,” Mr Baldwin said.
“We are now able to make a real difference to local traffic safety by using larger planes to get our workforce in and out the region, and using buses between worksites and the aerodrome.”
The Miles Aerodrome upgrade is expected to reduce local traffic movement by an equivalent 1.2 million kilometres per year.
In addition, the ability of the new aerodrome to operate at night and in a wider range of weather conditions delivers improved access for emergency services such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Care Flight.
Aerodrome operations will be managed by Queensland Airports Limited on behalf of WDRC, and planning is now underway for land-side terminals and a new departure lounge to replace the current temporary facilities.
LNG World News Staff, October 28, 2013