Deniliquin Council hopes to upgrade its local airport to establish a regional freight hub in the NSW Riverina and begin sending goods the world via Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba.
The council is looking for government funding to support construction of a 2,000m runway at Deniliquin Airport, which currently has a 1,200m asphalt runway and a 1,500m dirt/grass runway. There are no regular public transport services (RPT) services at the airport, although the a Deniliquin Development Control Plan 2016 showed the council had developed an airport master plan to attract RPT flights.
To that end, the council said on Monday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Wellcamp Airport with a view to starting freight services between Toowoomba and the southern NSW regional centre.
Deniliquin Mayor Ashley Hall described the MOU as the first step in developing Deniliquin Airport to become an air freight hub, noting what the new Wellcamp Airport had done for Toomwoomba.
“It has given Toowoomba’s economy a huge economic boost and the possibilities that are presented through our association have the potential to also provide our economy with a multi-million-dollar annual injection,” Cr Hall said in a statement.
Wellcamp Airport owners Wagners have been keen to develop the facility, which opened in November 2014, as a new freight hub for Australian producers to export their goods to Asia and beyond.
In November, Cathay Pacific brought a Boeing 747-8F to Wellcamp for a one-off freighter service, the first international flight from the airport.
Wellcamp Airport general manager Phil Gregory said the MOU with Deniliquin recognised the potential of the airport as a freight facility and the airport was in ongoing discussions with several airlines to establish regular international freight flights.
“The freight opportunities ahead are exciting and it would be fantastic to be able to work co-operatively with likeminded businesses,” Gregory said in a statement.