Regional aviation is a growing sector within the 33,606 squared kilometres of the East Arnhem region. There is current and future demand for the delivery of general aviation passenger and cargo-based services with significant aviation-related infrastructure to support market and operator expansion.
Passenger arrivals to Gove Airport (GOV) were approximately two percent higher in 2019 compared to 2015, with the airport welcoming over 29,500 passengers in 2019. Groote Eylandt airport (GTE) recorded 17,427 passenger arrivals in 2019 and in the same year Elcho Island airport (ELC) received 4,199 passengers. Although the communities of Milingimbi, Ramingining and Gapuwiyak also receive regular and scheduled Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) services, passenger movement data for these airports is not publicly available due to being under the reporting threshold of 7,000 passengers per annum.
In addition to the services offered by the region’s largest air carrier Airnorth (partners to Qantas Airways), airline companies Fly Tiwi, MAF and Chartair provide connectivity to all major communities. These regional services operate from both Darwin and Gove with multiple scheduled flights per week.
RPT services are provided by MAF, a not-for-profit organisation that has been servicing the Arnhem Land region for over 40 years. The RPT provides regular services along critical intra-regional routes offering connectivity between communities and Nhulunbuy.
Fly Tiwi provides direct services between Darwin and Ramingining, Darwin and Milingimbi, Darwin and Gapuwiyak (Lake Evella Airport) as well as a connection service route between Darwin, Gapuwiyak and Milimgimbi before returning to Darwin.
The East Arnhem region also has a regular and robust passenger charter presence. There is a range of operators based in both Nhulunbuy and Groote Eylandt servicing the region for individual and business passenger charters, scenic tours, air freight, remote logistics, aerial surveys, aerial photography and search rescue. In 2020, an aircraft maintenance company invested in the region and partnered with a local air charter business to provide on-base aircraft engineering at Gove Airport. This service will be available to all air charter operators for both rotary and fixed wing aircrafts.
Further information on regional aviation operations can be found via eastarnhemland.com.au/plan/services/air-services
- 29,500 arrivals
- 956 aircraft arrivals
- 17,427 arrivals
- 672 aircraft arrivals
- 4,199 arrivals
- 342 aircraft arrivals
- 51,126 passenger arrivals on regular scheduled commercial flights from 2019