Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport has officially been designated as an international airport ahead of regular freighter services beginning later in November.
The official designation as a regional international gateway was made on Friday, paving the way for more overseas flights from the airport located just outside Toowoomba about 150km west of Brisbane.
Being a regional international airport means foreign carriers are able to operate to and from Wellcamp without any capacity restrictions under Australia’s bilateral air services agreements, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said in a statement on Friday.
The government had flagged granting Wellcamp regional international gateway status ahead of the July federal election.
The airport, which owned and operated by private company Wagners, has handled two one-off international flights since it began operations two years ago.
In November 2015, Cathay Pacific operated a Boeing 747-8F freighter service to Hong Kong, while a Qantas charter flight in October 2016 organised by the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) business group carried about 200 delegates to Shanghai to participate in the AccessChina ’16 business event.
Wagners chairman John Wagner said granting Wellcamp regional international gateway status would support efforts to attract more flights to the region.
“We would like to thank the Federal Government and the Department of Infrastructure and Transport for their continued support in realising the potential opportunities that the airport creates for Queensland,” Wagner said.
Cathay Pacific said in October it would start a regular once weekly freighter service linking Wellcamp with Hong Kong from November 22.
Flight schedules showed CX22 operating on a Sydney-Melbourne-Wellcamp-Hong Kong routing with a Boeing 747-8F.