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A HELICOPTER has completed a trial run, using the Brisbane River as a launch pad, as part of an investigation into opening the iconic waterway up to more tourism.
The privately funded trial, where a helicopter took flight from a barge located just outside the City Botanic Gardens, was part of Brisbane City Council’s investigation into a new river strategy.
“This is very much about what our vision is for our city. We want to have access to the river. We also want to promote tourism. We want to have more things for people to do when they come to the city,” council infrastructure boss Amanda Cooper said.
Helicopter flights would leave to complete small trips around the city centre or longer trips out around the islands as part of a tourism strategy aimed at the city’s seven million yearly tourists.
However, Cr Cooper said there were still hurdles to overcome, including approvals from Airservices Australia and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, but she hoped it would become a reality within 18 months.
“There’s a lot of complexities when you’re dealing with the river, as we all know,” Cr Cooper said.
A City Botanic Gardens launch pad would be located about halfway between the Queen’s Wharf development and the Howard Smith Wharves, adding another feather to the city’s tourism cap.
It would form part of council’s river strategy that has seen more pontoons currently under development for New Farm Park, the City Botanic Gardens and Dutton Park.
Melbourne has a similar initiative where helicopters leave from the middle of the Yarra River.
“If Melbourne can do it, we can do it even better,” Cr Cooper said.