Councillor O'Neil: Why the $5m airport investment is justified
ROMA Airport has had six times the amount of passengers than it had 10 years ago.
And it's these sorts of figures that justify Maranoa Regional Council's investment into the asset, according to Councillor Cameron O'Neil.
MRC will invest $5.283 million into the Roma Airport for a new overlay on its runway as part of the latest council budget, it was revealed last month.
That amount is a clear $1 million more than council invested during the entire last term, despite passenger numbers falling to 105,207 for 2015/16.
But Cr O'Neil said the airport was still exceeding passenger expectations, and the latest funding was coming from the asset's own revenue stream.
"Before the boom, if we look back to 2006-07, there were something like 16,000 passenger movements in that year. In this financial year we're looking at $105,000,” he said.
"This current airport was designed for 95,000 and we're obviously exceeding that.”
Maranoa Regional Council has also been assisted by outside sources like the State Government and CSG companies for upgrades, to the tune of $8.23 million since 2011.
Cr O'Neil said the soon-to-be-completed terminal works, done by local builder Steve Duff, would help promote the Maranoa as an ideal tourist destination.
"There were a few things to fix, including a bigger departure lounge and more toilets,” he said.
"We wanted to fix all these things so it was a lasting project from the boom times for the community long-term.
"We want this facility to accommodate an increase in tourism movement. We want our town to be the gateway to the outback, so it all combined to where we are today.”
More than 1600 Qantas flights took off and landed at Roma Airport in the 2015/16 financial year.