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Positive future for Charters Towers Airport

The future for Charters Towers Airport remains positive with Council receiving a report on the condition of the runway and approving a planned upgrade for refuelling facilities.

Charters Towers Regional Council, owner of the airport, has received reports on the condition of the pavement composition of the main runway 06/24, compiled by Northern Pavement Consultants (NPC).

The report reveals that the main 1736m runway, which has a south-west/north-east orientation, is in sound condition with the airport being assigned a pavement classification number of PCN8/F/B/830 (120psi)/T.  This rating identifies that the runway would be suitable for aircraft with a maximum allowable weight of up to 17,900kg.

Councillor Joe Cooper, whose portfolio responsibilities include the airport, said the data revealed in the report is positive news for Council and airport users.

“This runway was built during World War II when construction methods were nowhere near the standards used today,” Cr Cooper said.

“Council has been diligent with its maintenance program of the runway surface in recent years and this is obviously proving a wise investment, given this latest testing result.”

Cr Cooper said the rating for the airport runway was a very positive outcome.

“This new PCN rating means that a fully loaded Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft with a 36-seat capacity can use our airport on regular occasions with minimal impact on the runway surface,” he said.

“The main users of the runway are of course single and twin engine light aircraft, along with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and occasional military aircraft.

“This use will continue and Council will welcome a growth in the use of the airport.”

As part of its ongoing maintenance and upgrade program at the airport, Council has accepted a quotation from Northern Refuelling Maintenance for the cleaning and inspection of the existing fuel tank and installation of a new bowser.

The upgraded aircraft refuelling facility will be operated by Air Fuel Townsville who will be the sole supplier of fuel for the airport for a period of five years.

Cr Cooper said the upgraded refuelling facility was vital for regular airport users.

“Aircraft based at the Charters Towers Airport need to be able to refuel when required. Additionally Council is aware that helicopter owners in the district use the fuel supply service at the airport to refill their fuel drums which are stored and used on their various properties,” he said.

Photo: Councillor Joe Cooper and Director of Utilities and Facilities Marnie Taylor inspect the Charters Towers Airport.

MG 1 April 2015

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