As Wellcamp nears completion, Wagner mulling another airport project

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 10, 2014
Wagner Global Services chairman John Wagner. (Seth Jaworski)
Wagner Global Services chairman John Wagner. (Seth Jaworski)

Having built the first new airport in Australia since Melbourne Tullamarine opened 47 years ago, John Wagner appears to be a man in demand among potential airport owners and operators both at home and abroad.

Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, built by Wagner Global Services and located about 20km southwest of Toomoomba and 130km from the Queensland capital, is due to open on November 1.

Built without government money and at a construction cost somewhere “south of $200 million”, the airport has a 2,800m runway capable of handling 747 aircraft and a terminal that when operational has initial capacity for 1.4 million passengers a year.

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The chairman of the family-run company John Wagner says he is currently in talks with parties looking to build a new airport.

“We are dealing with a number of greenfield sites internationally and another one in Australia as we speak,” Wagner told delegates at the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) national convention in the NSW Hunter Valley on Friday.

“Whether they get off the ground or not remains to be seen but I think at least one of them will.”

QantasLink was the first airline to commit passenger services to Wellcamp, with flights to Sydney starting on November 17.

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Wagner also hoped to establish freight operations from Wellcamp, which in addition to the 8,300 square metre airport terminal also featured an adjoining 500-hectare business park.

One of the last regulatory steps before opening was an audit from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) due some time in the next week or so.

Wellcamp is Australia’s first privately-funded public airport. Construction began in April 2013 and took a about 20 months.

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5 Comments

  • Brad Harrison

    says:

    John Wagner epitomises all that is great with aviation in this country. His “can do” attitude has allowed him to build an international airport capable of taking the largest aircraft and almost 1.5 million people p.a for a fifth of a billion dollars. Maybe the Federal government should get John to build Sydney’s 2nd airport and save 15-20 billion dollars. I hope that he is part of the plan to build the air freight airport that has been rumoured for years in central N.S.W (Parkes) and get this country moving. We need more John Wagners.

  • Marcel

    says:

    “Having built the first new airport in Australia since Melbourne Tullamarine opened 47 years ago”

    Hamilton Island Airport opened in 1980s. I’m sure there are others.

  • Bruce

    says:

    How about Brisbane’s new airport opened in 1988!

  • Kevin Carr

    says:

    There have been a number of airports built and opened in recent times for the mining industry. GHD designed and supported the construction and certification of Ginbata, DeGrussa and Boolgeeda Airports in Western Australia’s Pilbara Region over the last 3 years alone. Two of these ports are code 4C and one code 3C capable. They handle aircraft up to and including B737 800, A320 200 and F100 traffic for FIFO operations.

  • Wayne

    says:

    Good to hear. Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story!

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