Following requests for assistance from local aircraft owners and pilots, the AOPA Australia has been in contact with the Central Highlands Regional Council in Queensland seeking a stay regarding their decision to close Emerald Airport’s cross runway.
The council has reported to AOPA Australia that the decision to close the runway was forced on them by CASA, however they would prefer to keep the runway open if possible. Council states that the cross-runway is almost exclusively used by recreational and general aviation aircraft traffic, with a degraded asphalt and gravel pavement surface.
Emerald Airport Manager, Mr Klopper, went further to state that “YEML Emerald Airport is maintained as a Regsitered Aerodrome operating to CAT IIIC standards, CASA would require the cross-runway to be extensively upgraded and resealed to maintain our registration status.”
AOPA Australia Executive Director Benjamin Morgan has agreed to meet with Mr Klopper and the Central Highlands Regional Council to discuss the situation and to make a joint application to both CASA and the Minister for Transport for releif to enable the cross-runway to remain in service for both recreational and general aviation users.
More on this situation as it develops.