FIFO increase pushed airport numbers up by 140,000 in 2013

GLADSTONE'S airport had an extra 140,000 passengers come through its doors last financial year.

The resource and infrastructure projects in Gladstone have increased the number of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers coming though the airport, bringing the total number of passengers to 490,000 in 2013.

Gladstone Airport Corporation's CEO Phillip Cash said the airport handled the additional passengers well, with Qantas and Virgin increasing services. And would be able to handle more if need be due to the multi-million dollar upgrade.

"The Gladstone Airport has the capacity to manage additional passenger and aircraft traffic," he said.

"The airport has adequate capacity in the terminal, and the runway has more than enough capacity.

"The airport handles a wide range of aircraft including Boeing 737s ... as well as intercontinental corporate jets, recreational aircrafts and helicopters."

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) recorded the Gladstone to Brisbane route passenger numbers as the fastest growing in 2013.

However numbers are expected to plateau this year as construction activity decreases.

The number of non-resident workers in Gladstone is projected to decline, according to recent Queensland government figures, from 4450 to 3330.

The Brisbane Airport on the other hand, has predicted its passenger numbers to grow and is calling on other airports to help take this extra stress.

BAC CEO Julieanne Alroe said the last plan hadn't taken into account the growth in the resources sector.

"This level of growth demands that we plan ahead to ensure appropriate and sustainable infrastructure and services, such as roads, terminals and technology are in place," she said.

"During preparation of the master plan we will be working closely with all levels of government, as well as the community."

FREQUENT FLYER: Krista Yager is a fly-in, fly-out worker with Homeground Villages and travels between Brisbane and Gladstone.
FREQUENT FLYER: Krista Yager is a fly-in, fly-out worker with Homeground Villages and travels between Brisbane and Gladstone. Mike Richards GLA170114FIFO

Krista reckons Gladdy's okay, hold-ups are at Brisbane end

KRISTA Yager would have flown the Brisbane to Gladstone route around 30 times and describes the trip as nice and short.

"Generally it's not too bad; you always get good service and a meal with both Qantas and Virgin", she said.

"Because it's short, you get a fair bit of the flight you can chill and with the littler planes, because you get higher quicker you get to turn your things on faster."

Unfortunately Krista reports that the Brisbane end of the trip is fraught with

delays. "There have been lots of delays at the Brisbane end because of the one runway," she said.

"The Gladstone end seems fine though."

An increase of passengers causes an increase in fares; however, Krista believes it just depends on when you book your tickets.

"Weekends are always expensive, but we're lucky that we have a mid-week to mid-week roster which also means that we get a full weekend at home."

Krista agrees that overcrowding is a problem at the Brisbane Airport.

"The Brisbane end is always crowded, especially at the gates,'' she said.

"In Gladstone you can normally get a seat because they don't have as many flights at once."

Brisbane - Gladstone route

  •  An extra 140,000 passengers flew between Brisbane and Gladstone last financial year
  • The Gladstone Airport handles: Boeing 717s, Fokker100s, Embraer, Q400s, AT71, corporate jets, recreational aircrafts and helicopters
  • The Brisbane to Gladstone route was the fastest growing in 2013
  • 411,000 passengers went through the Gladstone Airport in 2012
  • 490,000 passengers went through the Gladstone Airport in 2013
  • There were 3610 FIFO workers in Gladstone in 2012, in 2013 there were 4450 and the number is predicted to drop to 3330 in 2014
  • BAC Airport Master plan will be lodged in September. It will focus on terminal development, environmental management and sustainability, land use planning and the operation of the new parallel runway.
  • A FIFO dedicated airport is being built in Toowoomba to take pressure off the Brisbane airport and will be finished in October this year