Qantas to Overcome Flight Interruptions at Broome International Airport with Full-Time Engineer

Qantas is set to base a full-time aeronautical engineer in Broome to facilitate the cancellation of flights that force locals to accommodate stranded passengers who cannot find accommodation.

The cancellations affect the hotspot in Western Australia at the busiest time of the year, as accommodation prices rise and rooms are booked months in advance.

Qantas, which has seen numerous cancellations at Broome International Airport over the past two months, said the disruptions were caused by “COVID staffing challenges” and “engineering requirements”.

The airline confirmed to ABC that it has sent a full-time engineer to service flights at the city’s airport to deal with technical problems.

“We already have a full-time engineer based in Broome and [are] we are working to build our local engineering capabilities to minimize the risk of cancellation, “a spokesman said.

A plane flies over a statue of Sam Male in Broome's Chinatown
Broome International Airport serves the high tourist season in the region.(ABC Kimberly: Andrew Seaburn)

Constant “release” behind the problems

The federal secretary of the Australian Association of Licensed Aeronautical Engineers (ALAEA), Steve Parvinas, said the move had led to redundancies in the northwestern part of the state.

He said two engineers based at Karata Airport before the pandemic were regularly transported to airports around the northwest to service Qantas planes.

Airport sign showing canceled flights
Flights in the north-west were also canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.(ABC Pilbara: Verity Hughes)

Mr Purvinas said that had changed since the pandemic hit, with the airline withdrawing a flight engineer from Karata Airport, which serves many communities in the Pilbara area.

“This was not a one-off COVID event. It was a permanent weakening of this port, “he said.

“IN [engineering] The problems that happened in Broome this year are not because someone has COVID.

“Broome is not served [by a full-time engineer] for 20 years. “

He said that the airline has now “permanently thrown a person from QantasLink to Broome, which we think is a better option”.

“The steps are positive, but they cannot undo the delays that passengers have suffered so far,” Mr Purvinas said.

Residents affected by cancellations

Residents and business operators in Broome were disappointed with the canceled flights, which they said left the city to deal with the consequences.

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