Regular flights into Karumba are now running twice a week under a three month trial on the regulated Gulf air route.
Assistant Minister for Transport Glenn Butcher said the trial would see if regular flights were viable.
“Regular air services to Karumba will deliver a number of benefits including boosting tourism opportunities, increasing business development and giving the community easier access to essential services,” he said.
“The trial allows for the gathering of passenger data and community feedback which will determine if demand can support permanent flights. Karumba Airport has a high quality runway significantly upgraded in 2009 and was used as a substitute for Normanton Airport for five weeks in May 2016 when work was performed on the runway.”
The new air services will provide access to Cairns, Mount Isa and all other communities on the Gulf air route.
The decision was hailed by Carpentaria Shire Mayor Jack Bawden.
“This is great news for the community and the support for the trial will hopefully be reflected in the data at the end, let’s all get on board,” Cr Bawden said.
Regional Express (REX) has begun flying a 34-seat Saab 340 B Plus aircraft into Karumba twice a week until 29 June. REX currently stops at Karumba Airport only when the road between the town and Normanton is closed due to flooding.
The services operate as follows:
Monday arriving from Mount Isa (12:20pm) and departing to Cairns (12:40pm)
Thursday arriving from Cairns (2:25pm) and departing to Mt Isa (2:45pm)
REX has advised that passengers with bookings for Normanton would be able to transfer their booking to Karumba if required.