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Potential for flights to mines
13 February 2012
The results of a survey of mine workers have added weight to Council’s efforts to attract small airlines to set up direct flights to Queensland’s booming mines.
Council started the survey in September last year to gauge demand for fly-in-fly-out services.
Since then a number of small operators have started trialling routes through the Fraser Coast to the mines. One is flying from Brisbane to Hervey Bay to pick up 14 workers and then flying to Emerald. It brings workers back to the region on the return flight.
“So far 330 workers and sub-contractors from the Fraser Coast working in the resource sector have filled in the survey,” Fraser Coast Mayor Mick Kruger said.
“The majority of respondents work in the Bowen Basin (68%), with the rest dispersed across the Pilbara and Port Hedland in Western Australia, Mt Isa and Gladstone.
“Only 38% indicated that they Fly In and Fly Out and 56% of respondents said they drove.”
Of those who fly, 73% travel through Brisbane.
“The results reinforce our belief that there is an opportunity for direct services to the resource regions, especially to Emerald, Moranbah, Mackay, Gladstone and Rockhampton,” Cr Kruger said.
“The survey also showed that 45% of respondents receive financial assistance from their employer for travel.
“And as a number of the respondents work at the same site there is an opportunity for companies to negotiate direct charter services for employees which should reduce costs and travel time if they do not have to go through Brisbane.”
Council will continue to survey workers to build up a demand profile. The survey form is available here.
“Council is keen to talk with any charter services interested in starting fly-in, fly-out charters,” Cr Kruger said.
“Both Maryborough and Hervey Bay airports have space available for air charter companies to establish services.”
A fact sheet with the preliminary results has been prepared for aviation and mining companies and is available here (PDF,171kB).