Fighter pilot honoured in re-opening of Gayndah Airport
SIX months and $4 m later Gayndah aerodrome was re-opened – and renamed.
The aerodrome has been closed since October last year due to the extensive refurbishment.
The work was financed by grants from round four of the Royalties for Regions Program (R4R) with additional funding supplied by the North Burnett Council and the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), a joint Commonwealth and State Program to assist with flood restoration/ reconstruction.
North Burnett Regional Council Mayor Rachel Chambers said the upgraded aerodrome opened June 11, which includes a new aircraft refuelling facility would give pilots an alternative to flying coastal.
"The airport upgrade is an important step in the region’s future," Cr Chambers said.
"Not only does it give pilots an option when flying in the region it also means that the RFDS will have an all-weather aerodrome where they can refuel if required."
Cr Chambers said the council will now be looking to actively encouraged aviation related businesses to the new airfield.
Assisting the mayor in the opening was Assistant Minister for Local Government Jennifer Howard and Member for Callide Jeff Seeney.
Ms Howard used the event to announce that the state government would be allocating funding into the study of bats in the State Budget.
"We all know that Gayndah, like a number of Queensland towns, has a bat colony problem and at the moment our only option is to encourage them to move on," Ms Howard said.
"What we need is more research into the bats habits to see if we can’t come up a better long term solution to the problem," she said.
Cr Chambers said the aerodrome would now be known as Gayndah Aerodrome, Ted Kirk Field in honour of the late Ted Kirk.
"Ted was well known and respected in the community having served as a fighter pilot in WW II flying Spitfires and Typhoons with 198 Squadron.
"He also served as a councillor on the Gayndah Council from 1961 until 1994."