'Green shoots' in Gladstone passenger numbers
GROWTH at Gladstone Airport is increasing but there's still room for improvement based on recent figures from Department of Infrastructure and Development.
While total passenger and aircraft movement numbers are nowhere near that where experienced at the height of the boom, there is some light ready to guide those numbers towards an upward trend.
After experiencing two consecutive financial years of negative growth in 2008/09 and 2009/10, the airport hit extraordinary numbers during the next four years with 35.3 per cent (2010/11), 48.1 per cent (2011/12), 28.6 per cent (2012/13) and 9.5 per cent (2013/14) growth in that period.
The peak year for total passengers was during 2013/14 when 501,140 inbound and outbound passengers come through the Gladstone terminal.
However, those numbers have since taken a nose dive with three consecutive years of negative growth and only 303,263 passengers coming in and out of the gates during 2016/17.
Despite another drop in airport numbers due to reasons beyond its control, Gladstone Airport Corporation chief executive officer Peter Friel said July's arrival of Alliance Airlines in Gladstone resulted in a boost to passenger numbers.
"Gladstone Airport has reached its natural organic level from the boom times and is showing some green shoots of growth," Mr Friel said.
"An example of this is that since Alliance has commenced operations in July, their passenger numbers have increased month on month equating to a nine per cent growth since July and we are seeing more F100s landing at the airport."
Alliance Airlines currently run Fokker 70 and Fokker 100 services to and from Gladstone after replacing Virgin Airlines. The aircraft can hold 80 and 100 passengers respectively.
Qantas also run services to and from Gladstone.
Average annual growth: (total passenger movements)
5 years (2011-12 to 2016-17): -3.1%
10 years (2006-07 to 2016-17): 4.9%
20 years (1996-97 to 2016-17): 5.4%.
Average annual growth: (total aircraft movements)
5 years (2011-12 to 2016-17): -4.3%
10 years (2006-07 to 2016-17): 1.3%
20 years (1996-97 to 2016-17): -1.3%.