SEVERE flooding in Cairns is disrupting the movement of freight and hindering transportation for marine pilots.

Heavy rainfall continued after ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper tore through Far North Queensland last week.

All ports in the area have returned to normal operations, according to the Maritime Safety Queensland dashboard and the latest update from Ports North.

However, flooding at Cairns Airport means all flights were cancelled on Monday 18 December.

The latest update from the airport on Monday morning (18 December) indicates the flooding on the aerodrome had subsided, but operations were still affected.

“Given our proximity to the Barron River, there is significant debris that needs to be removed and cleaned,” Cairns Airport wrote.

“We will then be in a position to assess our runway infrastructure, to determine its serviceability. This will take some time. As such, we can confirm that operations will not recommence at Cairns Airport today.”

Torres Pilots director Perry Sutton told DCN on Monday the flight cancellations have consequences for many Cairns-based marine pilots who travel up north for work.

“There are very few marine pilots living in the Torres Strait,” Mr Sutton said.

“Most of our [pilots] live in Cairns. That is [why] we are dependent upon flights from Cairns to/from the Torres Strait for repositioning the marine pilots.

“We are hopeful the water levels drop this afternoon, the rain is moderating and the airport reopens this evening with flights resuming tomorrow.”

Qantas Freight also advised its operations were impacted.

“Flooding in and around Cairns due to ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper has resulted in the closure of Cairns Airport on 17 and 18 Dec 2023 and all flights into and out of Cairns have been cancelled,” Qantas Freight said in a statement.

“Freight bookings impacted by the airport closure will be re-accommodated on later flights and we apologise for the disruption.”

Queensland Police in a social media post said the flooding situation was still unfolding as of Monday morning.

“Continued flooding is expected across the Far North for some time as an extreme amount of water makes its way through waterways,” QPS wrote.

Police noted sections of the Bruce, Captain Cook, Mulligan and Palmerston highways remained closed.