Local History by Betty Laver

Local History by Betty Laver

Opening of the Gladstone Airport

In 1952 Thiess Bros had an airstrip bulldozed, on land that Janson owned, and this was in constant use. The first real breakthrough for an airport in Gladstone came in April 1953.

The Calliope Shire Council suggested that the two councils combine and build an aerodrome where Thiess Bros had their strip. The following year they were underway with a joint board. This board comprised of: Calliope councilors; Hugh Neill-Ballantine, James Schafer and Alan Chapman, Gladstone aldermen; Bill Golding and Syd Smith and Gladstone Town Clerk; Roy Grayson.

The joint committee worked well together and in October 1956, a large crowd gathered at the newly constructed Clinton Airfield where a D3 aircraft brought dignitaries from Queensland Airlines for an inspection of the surface.

Although the aerodrome was being used, the official opening did not take place until 27th April 1957 when Mayor O’Malley did the honours and an official dinner was held at night.