Airport to remain open despite recent weather

THE Gladstone Airport will remain open in all but extreme weather conditions, according to the Gladstone Regional Council.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the Gladstone Airport cancelled a number of flights due to planes not being able to land, however, it did not close.

“Over the last week the airport was not closed at any time by council, the airport owner and manager or the aviation regulators,” Airport portfolio spokesperson Councillor Clyde Cameron said.

“The decision to attempt an approach is solely that of the pilot who must comply with the relevant safety rules.

“During the period of the runway works Air Services Australia determined that the lowest altitude an aircraft could descend to without the pilot having the runway in sight was 1480 feet.”

Cr Cameron said this height is commonly known as the approach minima and prior to the works the minima was 700 feet.

“It is unfortunate that in the lead up to this change the region has been subject to days of low cloud and despite the greater runway length, pilots have had to comply with the standard that was imposed during the construction period.”

On Monday hundreds of passengers were left stranded at the airport that were eventually bussed to Rockhampton for connecting flights or told to wait for the next morning flights.

Brisbane local Tiffany Plouman who was visiting friends in Gladstone said it would have been nice if they informed passengers of the problem earlier.

“After waiting for a number of hours we were finally told that the plane had been diverted to Rockhampton and a bus will be provided to take us there,” Ms Plouman said.

“I was to catch my plane at 1pm but I didn’t get on a plane until 7pm. I arrived home at 10pm later that night.

“I’m glad I’m home safe, but it is disappointing that the Gladstone Airport hasn’t got the facilities to handle rain and low level cloud.”

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