Brisbane West Wellcamp airport, also just known as Wellcamp Airport is a private airport on the Eastern Darling Downs in Queensland, about 20km west of Toowoomba. As a small regional airport which saw its first flights in November 2015, it has a number of positive factors that offer an opportunity for growth.
The single storey building is well laid out and user friendly. We dropped in on a public holiday, early afternoon, so there were few people around, especially with the next flight a couple of hours away. We decided to stop for a cup of coffee and a bite and check out our surrounds in a leisurely way.
We enjoyed inspecting the Southern Cross Aviation SC-1, designed & built in Toowoomba Foundry in 1961, hanging in the Entrance Foyer – the information about the plane and photos of the local area are displayed on a photo montage in the centre of the building.
Wellcamp Airport is located just under 20kms to the west of Toowoomba, at the top of the Great Dividing range on the Cecil Plains Road. The airport is on the eastern side of the Darling Downs, a major farming area in South East Queensland, close too, to industrial areas in nearby Toowoomba and Oakey. The airport is well signposted and can also be approached from Dalby and areas further west via Omara Road near Oakey. The turn, at Charlton is currently being upgraded.
The airport is well placed to help develop farming, industry, tourism links to and from the area.
Currently serviced by three passenger airlines – QantasLink, AirNorth and Rex Airlines the airport provides travellers a quicker way to fly direct to Cairns in North Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne as well as country areas in Western and North Western Queensland. Rex Airlines can also fly you to/from Brisbane, though currently flights are only four times a week and this is a stop-off airport on flights to other locations further west.
In addition a number of charter flights are available on helicopters, jets and fixed wing aircraft.
Local farmers in one Australia’s largest agricultural basins, the Darling Downs, now have the opportunity to send their fresh produce directly to China, one of their main markets and the world’s biggest consumer market, with the commencement of direct flights out of their local airport. A sizeable crowd greeted the arrival of the Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-8 freighter on its first flight on 23rd November 2015.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has also been signed between the airport and the Deniliquin Council in New South Wales on 7th March 2016, with the intention of providing air freight services between Deniliquin Airport and Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba. The MOU signified a further development in the airport’s goal of achieving regular international freight services, helping develop intra-country freight movement which can feed into the international connection already established.
…. We are excited that primary producers along Australia’s Eastern Seaboard can see the potential of the huge export opportunities in the Asian market. Airport general manager Mr Phil Gregory
Can we hope for international passenger flights soon? Well keep you posted as soon as we hear anything!
All are welcome in the Departure area through to the Departure Lounges where passengers and their friends can enjoy a light meal or snack and there’s a children’s playground with an appropriate airport theme for the kids in the outdoor viewing area. For those needing to remain connected, there are a number of work benches with charging stations provided. Overseas visitors should note that the sockets are for Australian plugs, so make sure you have an adaptor.
The Departure area is located at the far end of the airport from the carpark. You can enter through the Arrival area and walk along the inside, or on the outside past the garden. Apart from the flowers, there are a number of saplings planted in the area at the end of the building which should grow into welcome shade trees in coming years.
Check-in counters appear to be ample for growth into the foreseeable future, although Qantas has the only self check-in kiosk.
Food and other comforts
It was early afternoon so we decided to stop for a bite and check out the Altitude Bar & Cafe in the Departure Lounge area. There is also a coffee stall in the entrance foyer, although it wasn’t open at the time we visited. We found the food selection adequate and were satisfied with the coffee. The prices were quite reasonable.
There are two washrooms, one at each end of the departure/arrivals area. They were clean with sensor taps and a drop in hand dryer. The toilets were clean, with sufficient space in the disabled booth. There is also a paper towel dispenser, for those who prefer it.
Parking and Rental cars
Paid parking is available. There is ample car-parking space, close to the terminal and charges only kick in after four hours. A payment machine is located just inside the door at the Arrivals end of the Terminal building.
All the major car rental companies are represented at Wellcamp. Their booths can be found just beside the baggage carrousel in the Arrival area. Return bays are clearly labelled in the car-park.