✦ The Port Macquarie Airport Parallel Taxiway is a step up in the airport's growth and expansion.
This is a key infrastructure upgrade in the Port Macquarie Airport Master Plan 2010. Together with the renewal of the existing general aviation (GA) taxiway and apron pavements, the new taxiway is an enhancement of the safety, access and operational efficiency of the airport.
A joint venture between Port Macquarie Hastings Council (PMHC) and contractors, Building Heights, and Airport Consultancy Group, the 887-metre-long taxiway was completed ahead of schedule (four months early!) and on budget. It is 50% funded by the Australian Government under the Regional Airports Program Round 1 Grant, with additional funding contributed by PMHC from the Airport Reserve.
"For our regional communities, the local airport is an essential link to the rest of Australia. The taxiway is the final piece of the Port Macquarie Airport upgrades, and it’s wonderful to see these works completed by Council and ready for use by locals and tourists alike." - Federal Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan
This new taxiway has certainly come at the right time, given the imminent arrival of Bonza in April!
Perfect day for an official opening
It was a spectacularly beautiful day on the official opening of the new taxiway, which made it perfect for the four aircraft specially chosen to be the first to taxi on the new Port Macquarie Airport taxiway Foxtrot 3.
- Sling2 with Flight Instructors Mike Bullock and Steve Smith from the Hastings District Flying Club - Sling2 with CFI Ray Lind and Flight Instructor Bruce Dunlop from the Hastings District Flying Club - Diamond aircraft from the Australian International Aviation College - Brumby aircraft from Eastern Air Services
While the beautiful fleet did their catwalk on the brand new taxiway, spectators watched on with applause and admiration.
Reasons to celebrate
Mayor Peta Pinson was present at the opening, and for her, there were many reasons to celebrate this new pathway for planes to take flight.
"This is going to make a major difference to our pilots, our private pilots and our training schools that use this taxiway. It's going to save on time, it's going to create efficiencies, it's going to reduce congestion, and most importantly, it's going to improve safety here at the Port Macquarie Airport." - Mayor Peta Pinson
She also recognises that projects like that do need a financial boost, and she thanked the federal government's Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan for partnering with Port Macquarie Hastings Council. As a growing region, more and more commercial pilots will be using this new taxiway on a daily basis. It's about planning ahead to avoid problems that could arise when taxiways get busy. Ultimately, it is a worthy investment as it will be heavily used for many years to come.
Goodbye to old problems
Port Macquarie Airport has battled several issues over the past years. It has experienced flight disruptions, overly busy air traffic, bushfires creating excessive smoke, and of course COVID-19 came in and added to the stress. Previously, non-commercial pilots could be waiting more than half an hour just to enter the runway. This is not just time wasted, it is also a waste of fuel. Now this is all going to change. Whether it's for large commercial airlines or smaller non-commercial flights, we are looking at more efficient freight logistics and nobody has ever said no to saving on time and money.
A truly pleasant flight now
Ray Lind, Chief Flying Instructor of Hastings District Flying Club is one of those who can really appreciate this new infrastructure. He cites Economics, Convenience and Safety as three main benefits this new taxiway is bringing to the airport.
"The safety aspect is very important. When people are waiting, especially for long periods of time, they get impatient. And when you have people getting impatient, there's an element of danger. They tend to rush things and they'll try and push out and maybe even take off in the wrong direction with a tailwind." - Ray Lind, Chief Flying Instructor of Hastings District Flying Club
Port Macquarie Airport is basically looking at a winning situation with this new taxiway, with more efficient flights, happier pilots and safety for everyone all around. Hearing the quintessential "We hope you'll have a pleasant flight" will certainly ring true for every single plane stretching their wings on the new taxiway.
Where will you be flying off to next?
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