A developer has launched plans for a new luxury gated community on Queensland’s Fraser Coast with its own private airstrip.
Alongside 62 blocks for private residences, VFR Developments’ $65 million, 50-hectare Aquila Estate and Flying Club – located 15 minutes from Maryborough – will include one grassed and one 850m asphalt runway, as well as shared hangars, access to uncontrolled airspace, and a clubhouse.
Only daytime flights operating under visual flight rules will be permitted, with the airstrip sharing CTAF 126.55 with nearby Maryborough and Hervey Bay airports. While the community permits residents who do not own aircraft, all houses will be required to include an allowance for a hangar to be built later.
According to VFR Developments spokesperson Justin Miller, Aquila – billed as an “airpark” similar to developments in the US – is pitched at Australia’s 16,000 owners of private light aircraft and helicopters.
“Our focus with the Aquila Estate and Flying Club is to bring to the Australian market a benchmark project when it comes to the concept of an airpark that is comparable to what are considered the market leading sites in the United States, with the goal being to show what can be achieved from a design and lifestyle perspective,” he said.
“We project that only 40 per cent of residents will be pilots with access to their own personal plane or helicopters, however the lifestyle, location and amenities on offer will be attractive to all buyers whether they intend to live there permanently or have it as a holiday home.
“Today moves us one step closer of bringing our vision to life to show how, with the right level of planning, we put the runway as the centrepiece of the estate – while also showcasing that there is a market in Australia for this type of development.”
Aquila is not the first “airpark” community in Australia, with others including Rylstone Airpark near Mudgee NSW, which opened in 2015 around three hours from Sydney, and Twin Rivers Airpark near Wentworth NSW, around 30km from Mildura.
In Queensland, Whitsunday Aviation Village Estate (WAVE) includes 57 freehold land blocks and 30 leasehold commercial sites with access to Whitsunday Airport (Shute Harbour) near Airlie Beach.
The concept of the airpark originated in the USA, with the first, Sierra Sky Park in Fresno, California, opening in 1946.