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Topic: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Mozart
Posted 2009-12-10 15:22:49 and read 3754 times.

I am trying to find out more about "mining flights" in Australia, especially to/from the Pilbara.

Can someone give me infos about

- which airlines do these flights, which callsign?
- which aircraft type do they operate?
- on which routes do they operated?
- what are their routings?

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: DogBreath
Posted 2009-12-11 02:06:35 and read 3562 times.

Try Skipper's Aviation which operates out of Perth. I know they have a contract to operate mining flights within WA.
They mostly operate Dash 8's, but also some other types. Not sure of other types.

Good luck.

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Vfw614
Posted 2009-12-11 02:50:52 and read 3518 times.

In Aussie lingo, it's called "Fly-In Fly-Out". Main operator is Alliance Airlines with a fleet of Fokker 50 / 100:

http://www.allianceairlines.com.au/

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Nx622
Posted 2009-12-11 03:27:34 and read 3490 times.

You could also try Cobham and Network.

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Gemuser
Posted 2009-12-11 04:38:12 and read 3402 times.

QF actually hold some of the contracts with the mining companies, but services are operated by Cobham (NJS) with B717s, possibly others.

Gemuser

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Aussie_
Posted 2009-12-11 14:52:01 and read 3253 times.

This is actually a really hard question to answer... Mining flights are conducted by a mix of RPT, scheduled charter and ad-hoc charters, ranging from Cessna/King Air size aircraft all the way up to B737-800

RPT:
For example, many of the QF RPT flights in WA are supported by mining companies buying a guaranteed number of seats. Karratha and Kalgoorlie are but 2 examples. These are operated by 737-800s and some Qantaslink 717s (ops by Cobham in QF colours). Qantas even operate a 737-800 service Karratha-Brisbane in support of miners - must be one of the longest domestic sectors in Australia.

Then you have DJ who have recently commenced RPT in WA with E190s, again backed up by seat guarantees by mining companies.

New company Strategic Aviation are about to commence Perth-Derby services with an A320-200 after taking over the previous operator OzJet (that used 737-200s!). I *think* the route is currently subcontracted to Alliance until the A320 arrives (or is it Cobham?)

In SA, the Qantas flight numbered, Alliance operated F50 flights from Adelaide to Olympic Dam are also supported heavily by the BHP contract to serve the Roxby Down mine.

Scheduled and ad-hoc charter:
A range of operators work here, but it is harder to get an accurate picture other than to note the very substantial fleet of aircraft serving these sectors. I would love to see a comprehensive analysis of the mining aviation sector.

Cobham operate a fleet of 146s around WA and SA in support of mining, and have recently won a MASSIVE $170m contract to support the Chevron gas contract out to Barrow Island, including getting two new ARJ100s alongside a number of existing 146s.

Alliance have a fleet of F100s and F50s operating throughout WA, SA and Queensland, pretty much exclusively in support of mining. Their Adelaide-Olympic Dam service is the only one operating as RPT to my knowledge.

Network have a fleet ranging from small turobprops up to 2x F100s operating in WA

Skippers have a fleet of mainly Dash 8s (incl the 50-seat Q300) operating from Perth.

Rex/PelAir have some contracts in Queensland and recently got the contract from Adelaide to the Jacinth mine north of Ceduna

Then there are the smaller operators. Sharp Airlines (regional victorian operator) run charters out of Adelaide, Corporate Air (Canberra based) run a number of smaller turboprops between central Australian mine sites, plus some of the Qld operators such as West Wing, SkyTrans etc.

That's only a part picture, but hope it helps

[Edited 2009-12-11 14:55:16]

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Jbguller
Posted 2009-12-11 15:41:59 and read 3205 times.

I know there's a company that operates MD-80s out of Gold Coast... are they mining or something else? (eg Petroleum) their name escapes me.

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: VirginFlyer
Posted 2009-12-11 16:56:11 and read 3144 times.



Quoting Jbguller (Reply 6):
I know there's a company that operates MD-80s out of Gold Coast... are they mining or something else? (eg Petroleum) their name escapes me.

Mineralogy, which is an iron ore company. So they are effectively private aircraft.


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Some others to add to Aussie_'s list are Skywest in WA, Vincent Aviation and Air North in NT. In addition, there are a plethora of smaller operators flying piston twins and caravns, though I suspect maybe that isn't quite what the thread starter was looking for.

Anyway, here are some links which might be handy (in no particular order, and this list is by no means exhaustive):

http://www.allianceairlines.com.au/
http://www.skywest.com.au/
http://www.nationaljet.com.au/ (National Jet is now known as Cobham - http://www.cobham.com.au/ )
http://www.networkaviation.com.au/
http://www.flystrategic.com/
http://www.skippers.com.au/
http://www.skytrans.com.au/
http://www.vincentaviation.com.au/
http://www.airnorth.com.au/
http://www.rex.com.au/
http://www.pelair.com.au/
http://www.sharpairlines.com/
http://www.westwing.com.au/

V/F

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Gemuser
Posted 2009-12-11 17:39:47 and read 3107 times.



Quoting VirginFlyer (Reply 7):
So they are effectively private aircraft.

If used in the company's business - aerial work, not private. Sorry, nit pick I know, but it bugs me!

Gemuser

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Mirrodie
Posted 2009-12-11 18:43:42 and read 3049 times.

In June 2006, I recall being on QantasLink flight that flew from

Kununurra to Newman to Perth. The stop in Newwan was only 15-20 minutes long to pick up miners on the way home to Perth.

That is all I got.

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Vhqpa
Posted 2009-12-11 20:24:18 and read 2968 times.



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 9):
Kununurra to Newman to Perth. The stop in Newwan was only 15-20 minutes long to pick up miners on the way home to Perth.

AFAIK the flight flew nonstop PER-KNX and KNX-ZNE-PER on the return sector. The ZNE stop was also used for refuelling necessary on the southbound leg on the 146. Didn't last for very long nowadays Qlink codeshare on Air North to serve KNX


I believe ON (Our Airline) used to use a 733 on a BNE-ZNE charter not sure if they still do.

QF also sometimes use a 734 on a BNE-GOV closed FIFO run. QF also have RPT 734 services BNE-ISA which gets lot of high yielding mine and government traffic.


 santahat  Vhq.

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: VirginFlyer
Posted 2009-12-11 21:04:47 and read 2944 times.



Quoting Gemuser (Reply 8):
If used in the company's business - aerial work, not private. Sorry, nit pick I know, but it bugs me!

Perhaps not the best choice of wording, but I was meaning more that the aircraft are used by the company itself, rather than a charter operation - I wasn't specifically referring to the four categories of operation. That being said, if they are owned by the company, and used for the transport of the company's staff, then that is a private operation, not aerial work, at least on the basis of my understanding of the CARs:

Quoting CAR 2:

(7) For the purposes of these regulations:
(a) an aircraft that is flying or operating for a commercial
purpose referred to in paragraph 206 (1) (a) shall be taken
to be employed in aerial work operations;
(b) an aircraft that is flying or operating for a commercial
purpose referred to in paragraph 206 (1) (b) shall be taken
to be employed in charter operations;
(c) an aircraft that is flying or operating for the commercial
purpose referred to in paragraph 206 (1) (c) shall be taken
to be employed in regular public transport operations; and
(d) an aircraft that is flying or operating for the purpose of, or
in the course of:
(i) the personal transportation of the owner of the
aircraft;
(ii) aerial spotting where no remuneration is received by
the pilot or the owner of the aircraft or by any person
or organisation on whose behalf the spotting is
conducted;
(iii) agricultural operations on land owned and occupied
by the owner of the aircraft;
(iv) aerial photography where no remuneration is
received by the pilot or the owner of the aircraft or
by any person or organisation on whose behalf the
photography is conducted;
(v) the carriage of persons or the carriage of goods
without a charge for the carriage being made other
than the carriage, for the purposes of trade, of goods
being the property of the pilot, the owner or the hirer
of the aircraft;
(va) the carriage of persons in accordance with
subregulation (7A);
(vi) the carriage of goods otherwise than for the purposes
of trade;
(vii) conversion training for the purpose of endorsement
of an additional type or category of aircraft in a pilot
licence; or
(viii) any other activity of a kind substantially similar to
any of those specified in subparagraphs (i) to (vi)
(inclusive);
shall be taken to be employed in private operations.



Quoting CAR 206:

For the purposes of subsection 27 (9) of the Act, the following
commercial purposes are prescribed:
(a) aerial work purposes, being purposes of the following
kinds (except when carried out by means of a UAV):
(i) aerial surveying;
(ii) aerial spotting;
(iii) agricultural operations;
(iv) aerial photography;
(v) advertising;
(vi) flying training, other than conversion training or
training carried out under an experimental certificate
issued under regulation 21.195A of CASR or under
a permission to fly in force under subregulation 317
(1);
(vii) ambulance functions;
(viii) carriage, for the purposes of trade, of goods being
the property of the pilot, the owner or the hirer of the
aircraft (not being a carriage of goods in accordance
with fixed schedules to and from fixed terminals);
(ix) any other purpose that is substantially similar to any
of those specified in subparagraphs (i) to (vii)
(inclusive);
(b) charter purposes, being purposes of the following kinds:
(i) the carriage of passengers or cargo for hire or reward
to or from any place, other than carriage in
accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed
terminals or carriage for an operation mentioned in
subregulation 262AM (7) or under a permission to
fly in force under subregulation 317 (1);
(ii) the carriage, in accordance with fixed schedules to
and from fixed terminals, of passengers or cargo or
passengers and cargo in circumstances in which the
accommodation in the aircraft is not available for
use by persons generally;
(c) the purpose of transporting persons generally, or
transporting cargo for persons generally, for hire or reward
in accordance with fixed schedules to and from fixed
terminals over specific routes with or without intermediate
stopping places between terminals.

Provided no charge is being levied on the people being flown by the aircraft, it would be a private operation as per CAR 2 (7.d.v).

To be honest, I have no idea how exactly the Mineralogy aircraft are used - whenever I've seen them they've been parked at OOL. I know they are used to transport the Gold Coast United football team (which Clive Palmer, owner of Mineralogy, owns), and I'm pretty sure Clive Parlmer himself uses them. I would assume they'd be used for any FIFO work the company needs, though I don't know any details whatsoever on that. Given that I can't find an AOC under the name of Mineralogy (either domestic or foriegn), and the aircraft are registered in the Cayman Islands, I'd suggest any operation they are engaged in in Australia is private, and not commercial (i.e. Aerial Work, Charter, Regular Public Transport).

V/F

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: Gemuser
Posted 2009-12-12 01:38:47 and read 2852 times.



Quoting VirginFlyer (Reply 11):

Provided no charge is being levied on the people being flown by the aircraft, it would be a private operation as per CAR 2 (7.d.v).

Thanks for the interesting update VirginFlyer! I must admit I was using the ANRs NOT CARs and from memory, at that.. I knew several high level people who would have had a fit when these were proposed, but I guess most of them would have been dead by then and certainly by now. It is different when you are the youngest in an office by 30 years or so.

Gemuser

Topic: RE: Mining Flights In Australia
Username: StickShaker
Posted 2009-12-12 23:01:22 and read 2653 times.



Quoting Mozart (Thread starter):
I am trying to find out more about "mining flights" in Australia, especially to/from the Pilbara.

You can roughly split "mining flights" to the Pilbara into three separate categories.

1. RPT flights into major regional towns such as Karratha, Newman and others - these are flown by QF, VB and XR (Skywest). Aircraft types are 738, E190 and F100. Aussie has given a more comprehensive summary but not all operators fly to the Pilbara.

2. Charter flights direct from Perth to major minesites which are often in remote locations far from the nearest town. The dedicated airstrips at these minesites are shorter than those at the major towns and are restricted to aircraft such as the B146 and F100 which have better field performance than the 738. Skywest, National Jet, Alliance and Network are the major carriers involved in these charters.

3. Some smaller mines have unsealed airstrips and these are served by a variety of turboprop aircraft - usually Dash 8's, F50's, Brasillia's and the occasional Metro. It can be a long haul from Perth to the Pilbara in a small turboprop - 3 to 4 hours and very noisy if you happen to be in a Metro. Major operators are Skippers, Skywest and Network.

The type of aircraft and carrier is to a large extent dictated by the size (and surfacing) of the nearest airstrip and whether it hosts RPT flights.

If you are working at a Fly-In Fly Out site in the Pilbara it is considered a bonus (luxury) to be travelling in the comfort of a QF 738 accruing FF points rather than bouncing around in a cramped noisy turboprop.

Hope that helps.


Regards,
StickShaker


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