Gladstone airport ranks among country's busiest
GLADSTONE airport ranks number 12 on the list of the 50 busiest regional airports in Australia.
The surge, largely due to the mining and resources boom, has seen an increase in passenger numbers of 27.3%.
Gladstone's prevalence of fly-in, fly-out workers means the statistics surpass those of Emerald, Mount Isa, Moranbah, Bundaberg and Proserpine.
In the last financial year, Gladstone airport accommodated 471,400 passenger movements.
This was up from 370,300 in the previous financial year of 2012.
The trend is on par with the growth experienced in the charter flight industry, which experienced 23.6% growth last financial year, and is shaping up for another boom year this year.
The country's oldest charter services company, Adagold Aviation, predicts passenger numbers will grow another 11.7%.
Chief executive officer Mal Sandford said there had been 2.38 million charter passengers during the 2012-13 financial year.
"This increase in Australia's domestic charter business is the equivalent of almost 5000 A380 Airbuses at full capacity," Mr Sandford said.
"Regional airports are feeling the surge. We've certainly seen the demand, and it's apparent that charter operators with suitable aircraft are meeting the needs of customers and performing well."
As this emerging market continued to power ahead, the most important factor was for operators to provide the best service at the best prices, Mr Sandford said.
Queensland has the highest number of airports in the top 50 list, with 14.
While tourism has made Queensland's regional airports some of the busiest in the country, it's now the mining and resource industry pushing up the numbers.