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.
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.
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.