Following my excellent flight onÂ Airnorth’s jet service from Cairns to Darwin, where I got my first real taste of outback flying in Australia, I was left longing for more outback adventures. When I was planning my trip to Darwin, I came across the “centre-run” operated once again by Airnorth.Â This was the perfect opportunity for me to not only get my fix of outback flying, but also to experience the Embraer E120 BrasiliaÂ for the first timeÂ -Â an increasingly rare aircraft type. At one point in the booking process, I did have to question my sanity.Â Due to time constraints, I could only do aÂ flight same day return,Â meaning that I would be flying over 1600 miles in nearlyÂ eight hours on a turbo-prop in the Northern Territory’s wet season. Needless to say, my AvGeek mentality took over and I booked the flight without a second guess.
The “centre run” (or “milk run” as referred to by the locals), is a three segmentÂ flightÂ from DarwinÂ (DRW) in the top-end to Alice springsÂ (ASP), in Australia’s Red Centre. On the way, the flight stops at KatherineÂ (KTR) and Tennant CreekÂ (TCA);Â both are key regionalÂ communities located on the Stuart Highway which stretches across the continent from Darwin to Adelaide. The route was re-launched in September of 2014 as part of the Northern Territory government’s commitment to developing air services to remote communities. In order to maintain this essential air service, the route is currentlyÂ subsidized by the government.