Stage 1 of the $23 million Mareeba Airport upgrade was officially opened on Thursday 7 March.

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the Palaszczuk Government was investing in Mareeba’s future.

“The upgrade to Mareeba Airport is one of the most significant events in the history of Far North Queensland regional aviation,” Ms Lui said.

“Today marks an important milestone as we celebrate the stage one upgrades of a project which will result in a wide range of economic benefits and provide a regional solution for growing aviation demand in Far North Queensland.

“Pilot training, aircraft maintenance and new fast links to markets for the area’s acclaimed produce are all within easier reach because of this upgrade.

“The Palaszczuk Government is providing $13 million towards the two-stage transformation which will create an upgraded regional airport supporting 83 jobs.”

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services and Member for Barron River Craig Crawford who represented the Premier to officially open Stage 1 today said the bottom line was more jobs.

“The new facility will increase employment as it becomes a base for development of regional capabilities in avionics and aircraft maintenance,” he said.

“Stage one includes the new commercial precinct with 52 fully-serviced lots suitable for aviation-related businesses, including a wastewater treatment plant and drainage works to service the commercial precinct, upgrades to surrounding roads, a new airport water main and renewal of airport fencing.

“Stage two of the upgrade will see the airport runway extended and carrying capacity increased to cater for larger aircraft.

“There will also be upgrades to lighting and existing taxiways with some new taxiways constructed to make Mareeba a key regional aviation hub.”

Mareeba Shire Mayor Tom Gilmore said the new aviation precinct will create a welcome economic flow into the community and will create local job opportunities.

“I am simply thrilled to see this project come to fruition and the benefit this development will bring not only to Mareeba but to the Shire and Tablelands,” he said.

The Mareeba Airport Upgrade Project is being jointly funded by the Queensland Government and Australian Government and is being delivered by Mareeba Shire Council who have appointed Cairns-based contractor FGF Developments.