Pilbara Airlines announced today it intends to enter into discussions with the City of Karratha to establish its base and Aviation infrastructure at Karratha Airport.
Up until now the Airline was only considering operating from Port Hedland, all its marketing material shows its Head Office at Port Hedland international Airport.
The General Manager of Pilbara Airlines, Ed Turner, said there was strong commercial reasons for the Airline to consider using Karratha Airport as its primary base.
Pilbara Airlines was formed in Port Hedland earlier this year by Perth businessman Khoi Vo and former Port Hedland Councilor Peter Carter, with a strategy to operate direct flights from the Pilbara to Asia.
In recent months, the Airline has moved rapidly, opening up a Project Office in Perth, appointing a General Manager, Chief Pilot, Safety & Quality Manager, Airworthiness Manager, Project Manager, other staff and a number of aviation consultants.
The Airline has obtained an International/Domestic AOC permitting it to operate, but this requires variation and approval by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to operate Airbus Aircraft.
Mr Turner said the Project team is working closely with CASA management to complete this work by early 2020.
Pilbara wants to discuss with the City using Karratha as its main base of operations, initially for two Airbus A320 Aircraft, and obtaining land for facilities.
The Airline has a substantial infrastructure program and wants to construct a Bond store with chiller and freezer facilities to permit the export of Agriculture and Aquaculture produce, Head Office for over 150 staff, Maintenance Hanger and an Aviation Academy to train Pilots, Cabin Crew and Engineers.
Mr Turner said the airline would not commence operating until late 2020/early 2021, and the first flights will be to Singapore.