Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Geraldton Greenough - Issue No.: 540 Issue Date: 9 Sep, 2019

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Geraldton Airport...from the air!

The Changing Face of Geraldton Airport

Bob Urquhart: Resident of Geraldton since 1964, Bob has been an active community member of many organisations in Geraldton.
In Rotary for 36 years including two stints as President of the R C of Geraldton. Excluding Rotary he has been involved with about 16 other organisations at various times over these years.

These range from Geraldton Sunshine Festival Committee in 1975 and School progress associations plus Mid West Recreational Fishing Advisory Committee- 17 years and many others.

Professionally he is the current manager of the Geraldton Airport and has been for 20 + years. He has contributed to his vocation by being Deputy Chair Australian Airports Association WA  Division for 5 years and Director & Chairman  of the Security Working Group Australian Airports Association National Board for one year.


“The Changing Face of Geraldton Airport”

Geraldton was the site of Australia’s first commercial air service on 15/12/1921. There is a replica of the plane in the local WA Museum.

WW2- February 1941 becomes base for No. 4 Training Service using Avro Ansons, they were covered in hession until two hangars were built. The hangars are still in use at the airport.

There were over 1500 RAAF personnel employed at the base. After the war it wound down and finished in 1955.

In 1979 Shire of Greenough took over operations of the airport. Council obtained free hold title of the land. Much of the land around was and still is owned by Ken Allen.

A new terminal was built named after Sir Norman Brierley for a cost of $163,000 and the old terminal building was donated to the local scouts, it is still in use at St Georges beach.

Avro Ansen ZK-RRA in flight

No 4 FTS Training Squad 1941

In 1990 the Commonwealth Gov’t severed all ties with the airport and the Shire of Greenough became the sole operator.

In1998 Bob Urquhart was appointed as the first airport manager. He is still in the job, but looking forward to retirement!

In 1999 Greenough Shire upgraded the airport to enable larger aircraft to use it.

In 2000 the current terminal was built at a cost of $3,500,000 +

Sept 11th 2001 the airline industry was plunged into financial crisis and two days later Ansett collapsed. They were eventually replaced by other operators, initially Sky West and later Qantas and Virgin.

The current runway needs work, it has not been ugraded for many years. The City of Greater Geraldton (current operator) have accepted a tender to upgrade the airport making larger jets a possibility. This will allow larger jets to divert to Geraldton when Perth Airport is closed reducing the need to carry extra fuel. It could open up direct flights to Asia facilitating the live export of lobster, for example.

The current annual income of the airport is $5.5m which is derived in several ways – 126,000 passenger fees and 3,100 commercial flights plus other airport activity.

An advertisement has also been placed for new manager. It will be Bob Urquhart’s final job to appoint him/her.

Questions: Tony Emmott – flight delays; Viki Fennell – China links.

Peter Sukiennik gives a humorous vote of thanks including a shopping bag.

Author: Grant Woodhams

Published: 29 September, 2018


Meeting Rosters
Setup & Door
Setup & Door
Guest Speaker Host
Invocation & Toast
Raffle & Rotary Cor
Guest Speaker Thanks
Fines Master
11 Sep, 19
Hugh Lavery
Bill Frazer
Douglas Bruce
Dan Crisp
Jason McCarthy
Jim Dillon
Kim Stokes
Robert Houwen
18 Sep, 19
Peter Svensson
Raj Mavath
Viki Fennell
Geoff Watson
Phil Martin
Graeme Bylund
Michelle Mitchell
Hugh Lavery
25 Sep, 19
02 Oct, 19
Bruce Ralph
Jim Dillon
John Gooch
Laurie Dines
Kevin Watson
Kerryn Horo
Robert Houwen
Jason McCarthy
09 Oct, 19
Clark Scarff
Grant Woodhams
Steve Muir
Lew Hills
Peter Sukiennik
Tom Maina
Ray Haynes
Jim Dillon
Upcoming Events
Event Name
Reg. By
Our Club
Fri, 11 Oct, 19
11 Oct, 19
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