Gladstone airport landing system still waiting for take-off

THE long-awaited instrument landing system at Gladstone Airport is having difficulty navigating its way off the ground.

Despite initial projections estimating the $10.5million investment would be up and running by the end of 2013, the recently installed technology remains idle.

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Gladstone Airport Corporation CEO Phillip Cash said the project required further tests before it could be launched.

"We are still looking at a deadline in February of 2014," Mr Cash said.

"There are flight checks and analysis to be done, and the success of those procedures will determine a commencement date."

In 2011, GLNG, QCLNG, APLNG and Arrow Energy injected funds into the project, after it was found that plumes from projects on Curtis Island could interfere with the safe landing of aircraft.

Almost three years on, the project has not yet seen flight.

While there are few airports as small as Gladstone that use instrument landing systems, it appears size does matter.

There are concerns within the industry that the Gladstone runway has been curtailed by Biffney Creek, leaving the runway short 75m on either side, rendering large aircraft that require an instrument landing system unable to access Gladstone Airport.

A source, who did not wish to be named, raised concerns the system was installed without proper planning, essentially wasting the investment.

Mr Cash refused to comment on whether the size of the runway would impact the operation of the new system.

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