THERE has been a strong push in recent years to lift the profile of the aviation industry on the Fraser Coast.
Now this responsibility is in the hands of Division 5 councillor Rolf Light, who has been handed the newly created portfolio of aviation in the 2012-16 Fraser Coast Regional Council.
While this portfolio covers a vast array of responsibilities and opportunities across airports in two cities, the most visible yardstick of success is the passenger services operating out of Hervey Bay.
With this in mind, Cr Light was happy to report that since taking on the job, he has been working with Virgin Australia on a new five-year contract to offer stability to the region's passenger services.
Cr Light said with Virgin's load capacity on its direct daily flights to and from Sydney operating at a healthy 85%, it was expected the contract would be signed off very soon.
Cr Light said the figures for QantasLink were also positive, showing an increase in passenger numbers of 3.76% over the previous year, which lifts the total to 77,850 passengers.
In Maryborough, Cr Light said the council had entered into an agreement with local charter operators, South Pacific Airways for charter flights throughout Australia.
For fly-in fly-out (FIFO) opportunities, Cr Light said a database of more than 350 Fraser Coast residents currently working the resource sector had been put together to present to the Wide Bay FIFO co-ordinator to help bring a FIFO hub to the region.