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PLANE CHARTER: EXTREME CONDITIONS, SHORT RUNWAYS AND GRAVEL AIRSTRIPS

Remote travel doesn’t have to mean inefficiencies and limitations.


ATR72 charter plane capable of landing on short gravel runways for remote charter flight services in Australia.
Aerlink's fleet is one of the most modern in the Australian air charter market. The charter airline is Australia's most experienced operator of ATR, the world's best regional aircraft. Aerlink have both passenger and cargo aircraft, inhouse maintenance, crewing and training.

“When people call us needing to access harsh remote locations with gravel airstrips or shorter runways, they’ve often been told they have to charter a smaller aircraft with limited seating and cargo capacity”.


James Goosen, Aerlink’s Operations Manager recounts a conversation that regularly forms the start of sharing what can be achieved with the air charter specialist’s modern reliable fleet and experienced team. “Our client’s project immediately becomes more viable because we can safely and efficiently open up these sites to as many as 70 passengers per flight”.


Aerlink charter planes can take you places others cannot.


Other charter flight operators may baulk at sending their charter planes into resources sites, and remote airstrips, but it is all part of a day's work for Aerlink as Australia’s specialist operator of ATR – the world’s best regional aircraft.


Upholding BARS Gold Standard safety, Aerlink is equipped to take on its client’s challenges. Their charter planes can comfortably handle operating outliers such as short narrow runways, gravel runways, temperature extremes, snow, and ice.

Aerlink Pilots and Aerlink ACO Air Crew Officers stand of inbuilt stairs of ATR72-500 charter plane.
Inbuilt stairs. In Hotel Mode the charter plane generates its own electrical power for lighting, climate control etc. This can mean no need for ground-based power units.

There’s also no compromise to passenger experience with full remote check-in services, refreshment options, ‘hotel mode’ to ensure passengers enter an aircraft that is maintained at a comfortable temperature, integrated stairs and easy access that also reduces the need for airport ground support equipment.



"These are the best charter aircraft in Australia because they are designed to reliably handle our terrain and environment," says James. "None of our competitors fly them or have our experience, and with over a decade of operational and maintenance expertise, our team has earned the utmost trust and respect of our customers."


Aerlink’s ATR charter planes can use shorter narrower runways than competitor planes.

Iconic Birdsville Races. Aerlink have the ability to take large charter flight groups to remote locations.

Aerlink's 70-passenger ATR72 and ATR42 freighters are no strangers to out-of-the-way airports, flying to mine sites like Osborne Mine in far western Queensland and Mount Keith in the deserts of central Western Australia. You’ll also see them at iconic outback events such as the Birdsville Races. Regular airlines don't fly to these places.


It is at these remote airports that the ATR's advantages really kick in. With a modern build that reduces weight, they can land on softer ground than jets or the Q400. In desert locations, this has meant cost savings to mining partners, who would otherwise require runway upgrades.


A narrower footprint for landing gear puts Aerlink’s ATR aircraft minimum runway width at 14 metres, as opposed to the 18 metres required by the Q400.


The minimum runway takeoff length for a fully loaded ATR42 is 1,165 metres and 1,367 metres for the ATR72 (the planes need even shorter lengths for landing). Aerlink's competitors operate aircraft such as the Q400, which requires a minimum runway takeoff length of 1,425 metres and the Fokker 100, which needs a minimum runway takeoff length of 1,520 metres.


Right away, that allows Aerlink to get into more airports than competitors and allows Aerlink’s clients who are building airstrips, considerable construction cost savings.


Gravel kits get Aerlink’s ATRs into places other charter aircraft cannot go.


Most of Aerlink’s fleet is fitted with ATR gravel kits - equipment reinforcing the aircraft's landing struts and undercarriage to allow the charter planes to safely land on gravel, hard clay laterite, soil, coral and grass runways.


While some developed mining and resource sites have modern sealed runways, greenfield sites, smaller sites and remote communities may not. Aerlink’s fleet and people can handle many of these runways, offering options and cost savings.


"The versatility of our aircraft and established protocols allows adaptability," says Stewart Webster, Flight Operations Manager for Aerlink. "For instance, a gravel airstrip without facilities including fuel, remains serviceable. Our approach accommodates diverse facilities and challenges across different 'ports', aligning aircraft allocation, planning, and staff instructions accordingly.”


A versatile air charter fleet that meets clients' needs.


Aerlink’s fleet ticks all the boxes for clients. No matter how remote the airport, the aircraft offer customers and their personnel a safe, reliable, and comfortable flight.


With a flight ceiling of 25,000 feet, the planes have the room to dodge weather and turbulence.


At airports, they can handle temperatures varying from -45°C to 50°C, crosswinds of up to 45 knots per hour (ATR 42), and steep approaches of up to 6°.


Aerlink crew with Travel West on charter flight to Birdsville Races.
Aerlink Crew camping onsite with client, outback tour specialist, Travel West. Birdsville Races, 2023. Photo credit: Travel West.

"Aerlink has the best aeroplanes and best employees in the Australian aircraft charter market," says James. "Our commitment is to provide effective aviation solutions, delivered safely. Our customers can confidently work with us, knowing we'll get their people and assets where they need to go."






Is the need for a charter flight on your horizon?


Whether comparing your current operations, ready to book or in the early research phase, Aerlink's aviation professionals and their depth of knowledge are accessible to you.


Even if the honest straightforward assessment is that there is a better fit than Aerlink, you can be assured of a solutions-focused discussion centred around a thorough understanding of your purpose, adding value and enabling the opportunities that bring you, your people and your assets closer to achieving that purpose.


Aerlink Operations East & West Coast

Direct email: commercial@aerlink.au

Direct Ph: 07 3261 8300


Aerlink's commitment is to provide effective aviation
solutions, delivered safely.
With an experienced team and modern reliable aircraft,
Aerlink takes you places others cannot.


 

James Goosen, Senior Operations Manager, Aerlink.


In May 2023, James arrived at Aerlink with over two decades of aviation experience, most recently as Aviation Manager at Aethon Aerial Solutions and, before that, at Ravensdown Aerowork, where he worked as Operations Manager.


In those roles, James managed aerial contractors and field personnel across the Asia Pacific region, managed aircraft fleets and bases, project-managed the implementation of new technologies, and negotiated with stakeholders across multiple sectors.


James holds a Diploma in Advanced Strategic Logistics Management, a Diploma in Manager Development, and has aviation incident investigation accreditation. He also holds a private rotary wing pilot's licence.



Stewart Webster, Flight Operations Manager, Aerlink.


Stewart joined Aerlink in August 2022 and brings a wealth of aviation industry experience, including ten-plus years in senior management at Tigerair (Virgin Australia), where he served as the Manager of Technical Operations, Head of Flying Operations, and Fleet Manager. Before that, Stewart worked as a Training Captain at Impulse Airlines, Danish Air Transport, and as Base Manager for BMI in the UK. He cut his aviation teeth in the Royal Australian Air Force as an aircraft engineer.


Since then, Stewart has accumulated over 12,000 hours in the cockpit and a comprehensive understanding of aviation operations.


In addition to holding Airline Transport pilot licences from Australian and UK authorities, Stewart has a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and qualifications in fatigue risk management.



 


All information has been researched from reputable sources and is provided in good faith.

Please confirm details and requirements with Aerlink Operations.

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