A maritime search and rescue mission off the coast of Mackay, along with big political party meetings in the city, have brought numerous fixed-wing - including a bizjet - and helicopter traffic into Mackay Airport over recent days.
On Saturday 25 May, Jetstream Aviation's bright and colourful Cessna 550 Citation II bizjet VH-VDF, arrived into Mackay Airport from the Sunshine Coast. It later departed to Brisbane.
Meanwhile, numerous light aircraft were also noted arriving and departing during the day. These included:
- Gulf Aircraft Raytheon B300 Super King Air VH-PYN
- Toowoomba-based Beech B200 King Air VH-NME
- CromAir (of Bundaberg) Cessna 414A VH-CBT
- O'Sullivan and Sons Cessna 182T VH-ROC
- Aero Commute Australia (ACA) Piper PA-31-350 VH-ATP
- Toowoomba-based Cessna 182Q VH-JHL
On Sunday 26 May, a diver was reported missing over 100kms off the Mackay coast, and as a result several fixed-wing aircraft and a pair of rescue helicopters helicopters joined the search over the Great Barrier Reef over Sunday and Monday 27 May.
Aerorescue (AMSA - Australian Maritime Safety Authority) Dornier 328-100 VH-PPV (pictured above at Rockhampton in 2011), which is operated by Aero Pearl, has been noted operating out of Mackay Airport as "Rescue 441". It has been joined on the search by West Wing Aviation Cessna 208B Caravan VH-XDU, Fugro Spatial Solutions Cessna 441 VH-LEM, and Townsville Airlines / Heli-Charters (Cairns) AeroCommander 500-S VH-YJI.
Central Queensland (CQ) Rescue Helicopter Service Bell 412 VH-NSV has been joined by the Rockhampton-based Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service Sikorsky S-76A helicopter VH-JRD in the search as well.
Lastly, on Monday 27 May, the Queensland Police Service (Airwing) Cessna 560 Citation Ultra bizjet VH-PSU passed through Mackay Airport during the late afternoon, arriving from Cairns and departing to Bundaberg. Meanwhile, a pair of light Cessna aircraft - Hunt Aviation on the Gold Coast Cessna 172 VH-RWW and Airborne Aviation of Camden Cessna 182 VH-SRE - arrived from Rockhampton.