Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wagner family’s airport dream ready to take flight: Toowoomba Region, Queensland, Australia

WAGNERS managing director Denis Wagner is looking forward to the day next year when the first plane takes off from the Wellcamp Airport.

He is especially looking forward to seeing the look on the faces of those people who genuinely thought the project would never get off the ground.

Mr Wagner said the multi-million dollar project has been in the pipeline for more than a decade, but it was only in April last year the family decided to go full steam ahead with the project.

“There was an element of commercial risk associated with the project,” Mr Wagner said.

“We certainly did not make the decision to proceed lightly.

“I have no doubt the airport and business park will be a huge success.”

Mr Wagner said work on the project had ramped up even further to ensure the construction schedule is met.

“Construction started in April this year and we have more than 65 people working full-time on the project,” he said.

“The three-kilometre runway is starting to take shape and is due to be completed by February next year.

“Once completed, we would have used 10 million tonne of rock fill to construct the runway.
“On top of that there will be five layers of crushed gravel.

“It will be then covered in asphalt.

“Once finished it will sit about five metres above ground level.”

Mr Wagner said he wanted to dispel the numerous innuendos and rumors that were being spread about the airport.

“We are looking to develop a world-class business and airport precinct,” he said.

“We see the project as a good long-term asset not only for our family, but also for the region.
“We expect it will generate a lot of business opportunity for this region.”

Mr Wagner said discussions were under way with several carriers who were keen to service the airport once it was completed.

“We are in discussions with Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar,” he said.

“They are all extremely interested in the project.

“The airlines see Toowoomba as a fantastic market, one which they have not been able to tap into before.”

Mr Wagner said possible routes were starting to take shape, but nothing had been finalized.

“The studies we have conducted reveal the most likely routes at first will be Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Adelaide and Townsville,” he said.

“As well as regional centres such as Roma and Emerald.

“We conducted a survey and 94% of respondents said they would use our airport over Brisbane.

“Our project is very attractive in the fact that out catchment is home to more than 350,000 people.”

Mr Wagner revealed for the first time details about possible flight paths for aircraft using the airport.

“There will be approaches at each end of the runway,” he said.

“Our air corridor is about five miles wide.

“Depending on the size of the aircraft, they will join that corridor at different heights.

“Based on 500,000 passenger movements we expect about 24 planes per day.

“Of that, only three will be large jets.”

Mr Wagner said the finer airspace details will be released in the coming months.

“We are working through the final airspace design with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and other parties.

“Once they are finalized we will make them public.”

Mr Wagner said once the airport was completed it would open Toowoomba up to the rest of world.
“There is the opportunity for a number of different industries,” he said.

“We would like to think that once the airport is up-and-running we could tap into the live cattle market and flower trade to Japan.

“It is something we are aware of, but no discussions or agreements have been entered into at this stage.

“By building the airport it will bring people to the region, and it will also boost tourism, renew industries and create industries that we have not even thought of yet.”

Mr Wagner said he was fed up with all the unfounded innuendos and rumors circulating from south of the border in relation to the airport.

“We have followed every procedure and process in relation to this project to the full letter of the law,” he said.

“For anyone to say otherwise is just rubbish.”

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