Wild storm disrupts town airport

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

A wild storm caused havoc at Newman Airport after damage to structures last weekend.

According to Shire of East Pilbara technical and development services director Rick Miller, the 107km wind gusts blew through the town on Sunday afternoon, causing the aerodrome to close to all but emergency traffic and helicopters.

“The AAM hangar was destroyed by what was thought to be a mini tornado which caused the hangar to break up, with debris being strewn over the airport apron and across the runway,” he said.

“There was some damage to two nearby hangars, Heliwest and Pilbara Helicopter Maintenance, and nearby fencing.

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“Some of the debris impacted a Squirrel helicopter parked on the edge of the apron which caused minor damage.”

Fortunately, there was no damage to the Virgin Australia F100 aircraft parked on the apron, but the aircraft’s departure was delayed by 45 minutes while debris was removed from the runway.

Local State Emergency Service crews were on the scene after the storm, helping to clean up the damage.

There were no injuries to people or damage to airport-owned facilities.

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