FLY WITH ME: Scott Waters surveys flood waters at Rockhampton Airport
FLY WITH ME: Scott Waters surveys flood waters at Rockhampton Airport Michelle Gately ROK070417airport

Rockhampton Airport flood update

ALTHOUGH water still covers some runways, Rockhampton Airport boss Scott Waters hopes it won't be long before the city's air link is up and running at full speed again.

Today, the Australian Defence Force swarmed to dismantle the kilometres-long temporary flood levee which was last weekend erected around the terminal.

Mr Waters said the cross runway would remain out of action for some time, but emergency services would be able to use the air space again from the weekend, with passenger planes to follow as soon as the water had fully receded and safety checks been completed.

 

Northern end of runway at Rockhampton airport.
Northern end of runway at Rockhampton airport. Allan Reinikka ROK050417aairport

Between 1400m and 1500m of runway was affected by water.

Yet it was still better than initial predictions of 9.4m, which would have seen more significant impacts on the airfield.

Some fencing and elevated runway lighting was removed, and electrical services capped.

This preparation will see the airport open for business faster than in previous flood events.

Despite some criticism on social media, Mr Waters said the Rockhampton Airport was in an ideal location.

"What you need for an airport is nice, flat ground with not too many hills around the environment and that's what we have here," Mr Waters said.

"What this airport provides is a significant capability for our region that no other airport between Cairns and Brisbane can provide.

"We're an alternate for the A380 aircraft, that bodes well for our future.

"Any talk of building another facility is a little bit knee-jerk and what needs to occur is an understanding of what can be done to protect our airport."

Mr Waters said any decision on a levee to protect the airport was one which should be left to the region's politicians.

Bus services taking Rockhampton residents to Gladstone Airport will continue until further notice.