The proposal is for an air transfer base on Cassini Island to shuttle oil platform crews between Darwin and offshore sites in the Timor Sea. Cassini Island lies 15 km off the Kimberley coast. lt is currently listed as Vacant Crown Land although there is a proposal by the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) to have it vested as a nature reserve.
Currently BHPP operates a transfer operation from Troughton Island, about 60 km east-north-east of Cassini Island but wishes to transfer its activities to Casslni Island.
BHPP is seeking a Special Lease under the Land Act 1933 (as amended) for the whole island. The development is proposed because expanding operations in the Timor Sea will require more, or larger, fixed wing aircraft to transport greater numbers of personnel from Darwin. The Troughton Island airstrip will not accommodate larger aircraft than presently used, and there is no room on the island to lengthen it. As well, the istand is frequently flooded during cyclonic weather conditions, requiring evacuation of all staff.
The proposed facilities would contain accommodation and support facilities for 30 people, an 1100 m long runway (the same length as on Troughton island at this stage) for fixed wing aircraft and helicopters, workshops, two communications towers, one navigation beacon, and a barge ramp and connecting road.