North Kimberley Airport occupies 46 km2 of native title land. Its use is governed by a 20 year + 20 year lease agreement between North Kimberley Airport and the Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation (“WGAC”).North Kimberley Airport was given CASA registration R093 in April 2005.
The 1800m x 30m sealed runway provides significant efficiencies for aviation operations in the Kimberley / Timor Sea area. It can handle jet traffic, making direct flights to and from state capitals a feasible option for oil and gas and other offshore operators, as well as enabling emergency support services to be provided to offshore operations and the ability to facilitate convenient visits by company executives to offshore facilities. It has all the equipment and facilities necessary to provide aviation logistic support to operations including coastal surveillance services, the oil and gas industry, pearling, aquaculture, fisheries, minerals exploration and mining, aerial surveys, defence, tourism and other operations requiring a support base in the Kimberley.
All buildings are cyclone-rated and termite-treated, with 80 en-suite single accommodation rooms. Hangar One, measuring 529m², can accommodate one S92 helicopters, while Hangar Two, measuring 774m², can accommodate three S92 helicopters.
(see the base on Google Maps)
Voice and data communications are provided through Telstra's high capacity radio concentrator (HCRC) system, in conjunction with internet access through a broadband two-way satellite system. Equipment also includes HF radio back-up through VJY and fixed and mobile aviation VHF transmission.
Regional operators Airnorth, Paspaley Aviation, Hardy Aviation, Cobham and Alliance Airlines use North Kimberley Airport, with a variety of aircraft including Fokker 70, Embraier 170, Metro 23, Embraer 120 and Dash 8 types and Beechcraft 1900. Babcock International, PHI International and Bristow Helicopters maintain and operate S92 helicopters from the base.
All stores, office and workshops are dust-proofed and air-conditioned. En-suite accommodation is provided for up to 80 personnel. Communal facilities comprise an air-conditioned lounge with Foxtel, swimming pool, dining room, kitchen, gymnasium/poolroom, transit lounge and outdoor recreational facilities.
Jet A1 aviation fuel is dispensed through an aircraft refuelling truck with a maximum holding of 180,000 litres; for under wing or pressure refuelling. Avgas is supplied on an as needed basis. ShoreBarge, delivers fuel by sea on the MV Jane Virgo to the landing area at West Bay, 10km east of the camp. Single barge capacity is 130 tonnes with approximately 60 kilolitres regularly taken up with fuel. Delivery frequency is matched to fuel requirements.
Six x Telstra lines via Telstra’s DRCS system (Telstra Upgrades -This system is currently being replaced by a new High Capacity Radio Concentrator (HCRC) system, in conjunction with the Big Pond Broadband two-way satellite system which has been installed.)
Data is gathered by a remote automatic weather station provided by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, which feeds into the national forecasting data base.
The Automatic Weather Station at North Kimberley Airport is Almos based, as found at all BOM sites around Australia. Installed sensors are:
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Distances between operational centres.
Notes: Dampier (Karratha aerodrome), Distances are calculated as great circles to the nearest nautical mile.
Conversion: 1 nautical mile = 1.85319km, 1 nautical mile = 1.141414 statue miles, 1 statue mile = 1.609342km.