Celebrations for the new runway
A CHRISTENING of sorts took place at the Gladstone Airport yesterday.
Gladstone Regional Council, airport workers, Qantaslink and Golding representatives gathered at the airport to witness the landing of the first commercial aircraft without restriction on the newly rebuilt and extended runway.
The event culminated with a huge, “christening” jet of water which streamed over the top of the Qantas aircraft, courtesy of two Gladstone firefighting vehicles.
Council airport spokesman Cr Clyde Cameron said the arch of water was an aviation industry tradition.
“What a terrific milestone this is,” he said.
“The runway is now 1960 metres in length, nearly two kilometres. However, aviation protocols require full passenger and baggage security screening in place before jet aircraft operations can begin.
“This security screening will be in place once the terminal works are complete, around about the end of the year.”
The council will host a formal public function in March when the entire job is finished.
“We will then celebrate the completion of what is a significant project for Gladstone,” Cr Cameron said.
“It has certainly been a challenging project to fully reconstruct and extend the runway while it remains operational.
“That’s a challenge some folks said could not be achieved.”
Qantas aircraft have been restricted in size and weight during work.