New chopper transfers from Gladstone to Heron Island
THE grandson of the famous founder of Ansett Airways, Sir Reginald Ansett, has helped relaunch helicopter transfers from Gladstone to Heron Island.
Marine Helicopter Charters has restarted the Heron Island service after it stopped three years ago.
Behind the relaunch is pilot and the late Sir Ansett's grandson, Will Richards.
He is joined by pilot Shane Costa and businessman Gary Robertson.
Mr Costa and Mr Robertson were part of the Heron Island transfer operations in the mid-1990s.
Mr Richards, a pilot of 25 years, said he felt "so lucky" to fly over the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
"It's epic flying over Heron Island," he said.
"My family spent time around here, (from Heron) to Whitsundays... Now I suppose we're retracing their footsteps."
Mr Robertson said the service once carried about 7500 passengers a year from Gladstone to Heron Island.
"If we can approach anywhere near that we'll be happy," he said.
Their contract with Heron Island Resort's new owners Aldesta Hotel Group started on Thursday.
The flights carry five people, including the pilot, and take 30 minutes one way.