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Airstrip sinkholes, an isolated region's struggle


Latest update:  

MARCH 16, 2016

The Mornington Island Airport, in north-west Queensland’s Gulf Country, looks unlikely to reopen fully anytime soon, with heavy rain forecast this week.

The airport was closed in early December due to storm damage but reopened in January with weight restrictions.
Mornington Shire CEO Frank Mills said a geotechnical survey had revealed several areas of sinkage.
“It revealed some areas of sinkage, which caused concern, in particular [in] the area the geotech work had been done,” he said.
“There was sinkage of up to two inches on the runway there … and there’s another dozen places along the runway that need to be tested … but because of the amount of rain that we’ve had it was decided that further testing should be carried out on those other areas.
In the media:

Additional facts:

  • Depart. Transport and Main Roads conducted investigations and repairs (Jan 4 2016).
  • STATUS UPDATE : was closed on Dec 16 2015
  • Formal Council statement was made following TMR engineer advice (Jan 7 2016).
  • Flight costs from Mornington Island to Cairns (for one adult return) approx. $950.00
  • Operating aircraft to region include small charters and Royal Flying Doctor Service.
  • There is a 1300m sand and gravel airstrip located at Birri Fishing Lodge (northern side of island). The strip is in good condition – ALL charter enquiries MUST be directed to Dave on 07 4745 7277 PRIOR to use of this airstrip.