It’s great to see activity on the rise at Karratha Airport. More than 500,000 passengers came through the airport during 2019, which is a significant milestone.
This represents a four percent passenger growth compared to 2018, with close to 1800 aircraft taking off and landing each month or approximately 450 each week.
This rise in visitors travelling to Karratha is positive because it indicates increased development and economic activity in our region, with several significant industrial projects across the resources sector moving ahead this year, including LNG, iron ore and gold to name just a few. It may also indicate that our Karratha is Calling place-branding campaign is enticing more people to discover our region’s adventure, eco-cultural and nature-based tourism experiences. Council is confident visitor growth will continue throughout 2020.
In addition, Qantas introduced a discounted fares program for residents in August, which may have attributed to this increased visitation. Council is pleased to support this program by waiving passenger service charges at the airport, which are comparable to other WA airports of similar size, to make this offer more commercially viable for carriers. I hope residents have been able to visit family and friends in Perth more often since this program came into effect.
The City also waives landing fees for Aviair in support of their inter-regional flight network, launched last August in partnership with the Shire of East Pilbara and Rio Tinto. Over the past five months, this network has increased connectivity between Karratha, Broome, Newman and Port Hedland, with a Paraburdoo route coming soon. This new service is going well and is expected to offer development opportunities to local businesses, in particular.