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Best large regional airport

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WHITSUNDAY Coast Airport (WCA) was voted ‘Best Large Regional Airport’ at the Australian Airports Association Annual Awards, in Adelaide, on Thursday, November 17.

And it is officially the fastest growing regional airport in Australia.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Julie Hall said it was wonderful recognition for the hard work of the amazing WCA team, led by Chief Operating Officer Aviation and Tourism, Craig Turner, who was at the awards to receive the ‘Best Large Regional Airport’ gong.

“It is significant to point out that our airport previously won the Best Large Regional Airport, in 2018, so to have shown our resilience and bounced back so quickly after the COVID pandemic is a credit to Craig and his team,” Mayor Hall said.

“The flow-on economic benefits to our region’s tourism industry and business stakeholders in Airlie Beach, Bowen, Proserpine, Collinsville, and other areas is huge.”

Chief Operating Officer Aviation and Tourism Craig Turner said the award was ‘just reward’ for the resilience and hard work of his team to navigate the airport through the COVID era and emerge the other side bigger, better, and stronger.

“Our awards entry was entitled ‘Navigating Through and Prospering in a COVID World’ and highlighted how critical our airport is to the success of the Whitsunday region for our industry and business stakeholders,” Mr Turner said.

“We have hit over 220 flights monthly, which means more bums on seats, bodies in beds and visitors exploring our region, and a major reason the Whitsundays is one of Australia’s most popular tourism destinations.

”Our weekly flight numbers now are greater than pre-COVID and the most flights we’ve ever had in the 70-year history of the airport.

“We were up against airports the size of Newcastle, Gold Coast, Townsville – they’re all considered large, regional airports – so it was quite a big result to see that the Whitsunday Airport was recognised at that level.”

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