Cementing the future of airport

PATIENTS and their loved ones will no longer have to stand in the rain or seek cover under the wings of aeroplanes at the Orange Airport after the construction of a clubhouse for the Orange Aero Club Inc is completed.

Work is under way on the foundations of a temporary passenger terminal at the airport which will eventually be a clubhouse for the aero group.

The building, to be completed by Easter next year, will be used as an interim passenger terminal when work begins on building the $3.8 million terminal.

The building is being jointly-funded by Orange City Council and the Orange Aero Club.

The clubhouse will also house facilities for Orange’s aero-medical retrieval service.

Orange Aero Club president Phil Robertson said the club would also run a 24-hour service to provide tea and coffee for relatives of patients, paramedics and medical personnel.

“We’ve had a number of testaments, one includes a very sick elderly patient who had to be transferred from ambulance to the plane,” he said.

“It was after hours, the terminal was closed and the weather was inclement, his family had to shelter under the wing of the aircraft.”

Mr Robertson said once the project is completed patients will no longer have to be transferred in full view of those in the terminal. They will have privacy.

He said the group had funding from the state government, council and Hands Across NSW. However it is about $150,000 shy of the target.

Mr Robertson said council is keen to have the project completed as soon as possible so will provide additional funding until the aero club can come up with the funds to offset council’s input.

“We ask people to put their hands in their pockets and help us out,” he said.

The new building is being constructed at the eastern end of the airport car park. It will have Colorbond walls and a curved roof.

To help out contact Orange Aero Club at www.orangeaeroclub.com.au

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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