Australia: LNG Industry Provides AUD 10.5 Million for Gladstone Airport Upgrade

Gladstone’s coal seam gas (CSG) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects will provide A$10.5 million for an instrument landing system at Gladstone Airport.

The system will significantly improve the ability of aircraft to land at the airport during adverse weather conditions, meaning fewer flight diversions to Rockhampton.

Australia Pacific LNG, GLNG and Queensland Curtis LNG have contributed funds immediately. Arrow Energy has committed to contribute its share at final investment decision (FID).

System installation preparatory works have started and will be fully operating by 2014 when the first LNG plant is scheduled to begin operation.

The system will consist of two new antennas to improve positional and vertical guidance for aircraft, distance measuring equipment to enable aircraft to more precisely measure their distance from the runway, and improved runway lighting.

Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Gail Sellers said the Gladstone Airport would now be one of only three airports in Queensland with this technology.

This is a real win-win result,” Cr Sellers said.

The council has recently invested about A$70 million on upgrading Gladstone Airport and maximising aircraft usage is important to its viability. This system will also allow for the added benefit of providing aviation training onsite.

Gladstone Airport occasionally experiences low cloud and low visibility which causes aircraft to be diverted to Rockhampton.

These types of weather conditions have been extremely disruptive for the travelling public.”

The decision to install the system followed studies by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and a recommendation from a study funded by the LNG industry and commissioned by the council to mitigate project impacts.

The LNG proponents said they were pleased to be able to provide funding for this system which will prove a real benefit for Gladstone, ensuring planes could land in adverse conditions, while mitigating any potential impacts from LNG plants.


Source: QGC, September 21, 2011