Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Echuca airport reaches new heights

Aviation Industry Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips visited Echuca airport to officially open the fuel station, which allows turbine aircraft to refuel.

TRENT HORNEMAN July 1, 2014 3:23am

Attending the launch were (from left) Member for Swan Hill Peter Walsh, Member for Rodney Paul Weller, Aviation Industry Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips, Echuca Aero Club president Peter Arnold and vice-president Rob Hosking and Campaspe Shire mayor Ian Maddison

A new and improved fuel station at Echuca airport is open for business.

Victorian Aviation Industry Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips cut the ribbon on the $100,000 fuel upgrade on Saturday, which allows turbine aircraft to refuel.

Echuca Aero Club president Peter Arnold said the ability to offer Jet A1 fuel for larger aircraft would be a boost for the region.

Mr Arnold said it would allow emergency service planes, air ambulance and firefighting helicopters, as well as large-scale crop dusters to refuel in Echuca.

Previously, those aircraft had to use Bendigo or Deniliquin, which would have limited supplies.

He said selling fuel to larger aircraft also had economic benefit for the airport.

‘‘The aero club buys and sells the fuel, making a small profit which is put back into the club and projects at the airport,’’ he said.

‘‘The beauty of the larger planes is that they do not use 30 or 40 litres, they are using 500 or 600 litres at a time.’’

Mr Arnold said the next step was improving lighting at the airport, as well as sealing the airport’s taxiways.

‘‘With Jet A1 available, we might be seeing larger aircraft wanting to land at night or early in the morning,’’ he said.

‘‘Improving the lighting at the airport will help to make that possible.’’

Mr Rich-Phillips said the Victorian Government contributed $70,000 to the project through a grant from the Regional Aviation Fund.

‘‘Having Jet A1 fuel available here on a permanent basis will enable greater use of the aerodrome and make it significantly easier for local agricultural and tourism operators to run their businesses,’’ he said.

‘‘The upgrade of fuel facilities also ensures greater security of fuel storage and increased safety in fuel handling and may also encourage larger planes to use the aerodrome.

‘‘This much-needed upgrade will ensure Echuca aerodrome continues to expand its services and ensures a sustainable future for the local aviation sector.’’

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