Airport builder looks to Brisbane spill-over

A STATE Government proposal to use regional airports to ease congestion at Brisbane Airport could give a huge boost to the Lockyer Valley airport now under development.

Airport developer Randal McFarlane said any move to utilise regional airports for small planes would benefit the Lake Clarendon development.

"The Lockyer Valley airport (will be) arguably in the perfect position for regional services," he said.

"It's not that far from Ipswich, Toowoomba is only 20 minutes away, even the western suburbs of Brisbane are easily accessible."

The development, which has been delayed, would be able to accommodate mid-sized planes such as the Dash 8.

While Mr McFarlane said the airport would not be able to land jumbo planes he said the mid-sized aircraft were perfect for regional routes.

"For FIFO (fly in fly out) our location would be perfect.

"For people working in the mines and living in the south-east our airport would be perfect.

"We have no expectation for heavy jets or planes out there.

"We haven't had that plan and we don't want people to think there will be any 747s or A380s flying into the Lockyer Valley.

"The investment for the category of airplane ...is massive.

"You'd just never get a return for it in a regional airport."

Mr McFarlane said while the airport had been delayed progress was on "the new schedule".

He blamed much of the delay on the weather, but said development was now progressing with lots already sold.

The airport will include a pad for an emergency helicopter, with the land for it set to be handed over to the council in the coming days.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney yesterday told a Brisbane newspaper he was considering utilising regional airports for flights in order to decrease congestion at Brisbane Airport.

Lockyer Valley Council last week said the helipad was ready be built to help in times of emergency and natural disaster, while a second pad would be built at the Gatton Showground.

Mr McFarlane said sales on lots at the airport were progressing strongly with construction to begin in coming months.


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