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Opportunity to showcase region’s aviation history

FNQ Aviation Museum Directors Brendan Kent, Stephen Johnston, Scott Brady and Richard Rudd.

FAR North Queensland Aviation Museum members, local supporters and Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Tom Gilmore gathered at the Mareeba Airport on Saturday for an update on how things are progressing with the building of the FNQ Aviation Museum.

The FNQ Aviation Museum concept is one that was formalised last year, and is aimed at providing Mareeba residents and tourists a look back in time at the abundance of aviation history the region boasts.

FNQ Aviation Museum Director Brendan Kent said Mareeba has a vast aviation history that needs to be showcased.

“I’m disappointed that our region’s aviation history is not on display to the public,” he said.

“Not only will it be beneficial to the surrounding aviation businesses, the museum will inspire young kids to want to know more about the different aspects of aviation.”

Mr Kent said the FNQ Aviation Museum has been allocated a space by the Mareeba Shire Council as part of the Mareeba Airport development; however he noted the museum may not get off the ground unless they receive the necessary funding.

“We are fortunate to have been given great support on all levels – that being local, state and the federal government,” he said.

“We’re currently waiting to hear back in the next month on a grant that will enable us to do concept drawings, building architecture and engineering.

“In addition, the support from the community has been fantastic and we’re extremely appreciative of their help in trying to secure an aviation museum for the region.”

Mr Kent said he is hoping to commission an economic impact report to illustrate definitive data on what sort of impact it will have for Mareeba from both a local and tourism standpoint.

“The museum will consist of a lot of displays,” he said.

“Everything such as the use of lighting, video walls, interactive displays, theatre and technology will be available and will cater for people of all ages.

“While this is a great thing for those living on the Tablelands, we also see it in the way of a major tourist attraction, so we strongly feel now is the time for something like this in Mareeba.”

Mr Kent said the FNQ Aviation Museum will be run as a not-for-profit organisation, with the hope of having it up and running by 2021 at the earliest.

In the near future a small museum of what you can expect to see will be open in the meantime.

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