Sunday, 23 October 2016

Another first for Wellcamp Airport

While Brisbane Airport sits on its hands Wellcamp Airport is busy getting on with business as they celebrate another milestone.  Today they celebrate the very first international "passenger flight" out of the airport with a Qantas A330-303 VH-QPA doing the honours. (On the 25th November 2015 a Cathay Pacific B747-8 freighter (B-LJA) departed Wellcamp for Hong Kong full of produce.)
I left home at 6am and headed off on the 1 hour 45 minute trip to Wellcamp.
The A330 is here to take trade delegates from the TSBE (Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise) to Shanghai as part of the AccessChina’16 tour. AccessChina’16 is the success story of Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, flying produce growers, industry and business delegates to Shanghai tapping into the China export market.

VH-QPA with the callsign Qantas 129 departed Sydney 20 minutes late at 8.04am and touched down on runway 12 at Wellcamp at 9.21, ten minutes behind schedule.

I was hoping for the famous "water cannon salute" but since the airport doesn't have fire tenders, this couldn't be done.
Qantas even dressed the aircraft up with special decals like "Toowoomba to Shanghai" and  "TSBE  AccessChina’16"

The aircraft was on the ground for almost 2 hours, way over the hour and twenty it was going to be. QF 129 started taxing at 11.02am and departed from runway 30 at 11.08am bound for Shanghai.

While I was waiting I took a few photos of the only domestic RPT for the morning and a few of the helicopters that flew in especially for this historical event, even offer joy rides at a low cost.




Wellcamp Airport; officially known as Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport (IATA: WTB, ICAO: YBWW) is 15.6 km (9.7 miles) west of the city of Toowoomba and is 460mts (1509 feet) AMSL.
The airport and business park is a privately owned airport and is owned by the Wagner family, a local prominent business family in the Toowoomba region. The airport opened on 10th November 2014 with the first scheduled passenger flight on 17 November 2014.
The airport is also the first privately funded major airport in the country and is the first public airport development in Australia since Melbourne Airport opened in 1970.
The airport has a single asphalt runway, 12/30, and it is 2,870 metres long and 45 metres wide, it is capable of handling aircraft up B747-8 models.
Wellcamp airport does not have a control tower so pilots are required to communicate via a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) on 127.65 to safely co-ordinate arrivals and departures.

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