10-Oct-2013 Coast aviator to provide 2500 seats a week for FIFO workers

A COAST company will begin offering fly-in fly-out services for 2500 workers each week after striking a deal with Sunshine Coast Airport.

Machjet will become the first tenant at the airport's new Aerospace Precinct when it opens early next year.

Machjet, a subsidiary of Coast-based business McDermott Aviation, will operate its fixed-wing aircraft and maintenance services out of the airport.

The project will create 16.5 full-time equivalent jobs and inject an estimated $5.5 million into the local economy annually.

Machjet's four Beechcraft B200C Super Kingairs and a Cessna Citation jet provide passenger and cargo services throughout Australia and the South Pacific.

Machjet will offer FIFO services for the major central and North Queensland mining hubs.

The company has secured a contract with a mining operation but is yet to announce the details.

McDermott Aviation operations manager Simon McDermott said the Coast was crying out for more FIFO services.

"All our workers live on the Coast and this allowed us to keep our workers happy instead of moving," he said.

"Also it's good for the longevity of fly-in fly-out workers and better for their productivity. They get to stay here, instead of living in mining communities.

" Mr McDermott said the company would operate 2500 seats each way each week.

Previously Machjet's maintenance has been outsourced to companies around Australia. Its fixed-wing operations have undergone a five-fold increase over the past three years.

The announcement of the project was made last night at the Regional Aviation Association of Australia conference at Coolum.

The Sunshine Coast Aerospace Precinct will have more than 32,000sq m of large hangar space when it officially opens in February, though Machjet will begin operating out of it a month earlier.

"This is wonderful news," Mayor Mark Jamieson said.

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