New Aurukun Airport

by | Oct 19, 2021 | Community News

Aurukun Shire Council’s new $2.9 million Aurukun Airport has opened offering increased safety and air-conditioned comfort for the more than 10,000 passengers a year that travel to and from the remote Cape York Peninsula Indigenous community.

Black Star Radio interview with Mayor Keri Tamwoy – New Aurukun Airport – 19 October 2021

ABC Far North Queensland Radio interview with Mayor Keri Tamwoy – New Aurukun Airport – 20 October 2021

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Minister for Training and Skills Development the Ministerial Champion for Aurukun Di Farmer joined Aurukun Mayor Keri Tamwoy to officially open Aurukun Airport today (October 19). “The airport upgrade has been a priority project for Aurukun, so it’s wonderful to see this facility which will support future growth and be of great benefit to the community, now open,” Minister Farmer said.
Touring the airport with the community’s Government Champion and Director-General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet Rachel Hunter, Minister Farmer said the Queensland Government provided over $2.9 million for the upgrade, as part of the Works for Queensland
program. “Supporting growth, providing greater access to services and creating opportunities is crucial to strengthening our remote Indigenous communities and to the economic recovery of Queensland,” Minister Farmer said. “The facility is not only functional, and a welcoming space for staff and visitors, but the design includes cultural elements significant to Aurukun presenting a wonderful opportunity to share the community’s history with thousands of visitors each year.”
The Aurukun Champions were greeted by Elders, Councillors, and community members who followed a pathway decorated with a series of dots leading to and through the Airport. The dots represent Aurukun’s three rivers which also feature in the Council logo.
The stunning red ochre-coloured aluminium entrance is inspired by the water lilies in Aurukun’s extensive wetlands which feature in the Council’s logo. A second timber water lily sculpture is suspended from the ceiling in the passenger waiting lounge.
Mayor Tamwoy proudly showed guests through to the passenger lounge, named the Alison Woolla Memorial passenger Lounge after her late mother who served as the Mayor of Aurukun in 1983-85 and 1991-94.

“Aviation access is critical for our community with around 620 residents regularly needing to fly to Cairns for medical treatment and business,” Mayor Tamwoy said. “Multiple service providers also fly into Aurukun on Skytrans and charter flights as well as the
Royal Flying Doctor Service amounting to more than 750 flights each week before the pandemic.
“Until now we all faced the prospect of standing in the rain or the heat with very little undercover space and just a couple of bench seats to wait for our flights. “The new Aurukun Airport is one-third larger than its predecessor and the enclosed airconditioned
building has comfortable seating, functional office space, improved onloading and offloading facilities, a security inspection space, internal bathrooms, a waiting room for aircraft staff, and formal car parking areas.
“Expressions of interest are being called for a kiosk to operate in conjunction with flight landing and departure times and we hope a local community member will take advantage of this business opportunity.
“Developed with funds from the State Government’s Work for Queensland program, Aurukun Airport is designed to cater for future growth in the mining and tourism sectors.
“Aurukun Shire Council has been improving the airstrip infrastructure over the past 30 years to accommodate the growing number of aircraft movements into our community and with that work completed it was time to improve the passenger and staff experience.”

Designed by Gordon Gould Ipson Architects, Aurukun Airport was built by Cameron Herbert Constructions with SMEC the Project Manager.