Aviation Pioneers Entrepreneurial Spirit Flying High

Cairns Airport will celebrate the history of aviation in Far North Queensland today when it pays special tribute to the Far North’s aviation forefathers in the new look Aviation Pioneers Display Corner, part of the upgraded T2 Domestic Terminal at Cairns Airport.

The display includes a collection of photos and memorabilia that covers over a hundred years of aviation history in Cairns, including the oldest known aerial photograph of Cairns Airport gifted by the Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch.

Attending the celebration today will be representatives from Bush Pilots founded in 1951. Bushies grew from a small operation to be a significant airline that laid the foundation for much of the early tourism across the region as well as operating scheduled flights from Cairns to towns, communities and cattle properties located in Cape York and the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Cairns Airport chief executive officer Richard Barker said it was important to remember those who have contributed to the aviation footprint of the airport and their incredible work in shaping what the airport has become.

“There’s over a hundred years of aviation history here and these pioneers have been instrumental in the development of Northern Queensland and the opportunities it has given people and communities across the region.

“Cairns Airport continues to play a vital role in the social and economic success of our region, connecting individuals and providing crucial services for remote communities. The tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit of these aviation pioneers is an important part of the Cairns Airport story and what we are today. 

Lionel Dyer, employee of more than 20 years with the Cairns founded and based airline Bush Pilots Airways that later became Air Queensland, congratulated Cairns Airport for maintaining their connection with the history of the Airport over the years.

“We’ve all got such great memories of flying in this region over the years, and its wonderful to see this recognition not only of Bushies, but all for all those who went before us.

“This Pioneers Corner is a great reminder to the travelling public of the way things used to be and it’s terrific to be able to share the history of aviation with the community,” Mr Dyer said.

The Aviation Pioneer Corner includes Tom Mc Donald’s original boots as well as a collection of aviation milestones across the Far North, including historic photos and memorial plaques.

The Aviation Pioneers Corner can be found at the top of the escalators in T2 Domestic Terminal and is on permanent display at Cairns Airport.  More information on the Bush Pilots can be found at: www.bushies.net