ANDERSON CALLS FOR FAIRER
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson is calling on Airport Coordination Australia to “give regional NSW a fair go” following reports that Virgin Australia is reducing their flights between Tamworth and Sydney by three flights a week due to the lack of landing time availability at Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney.
Mr Anderson said the system needs a shake-up to give airlines an opportunity to grow their regional markets.
“Enough is enough. We can’t keep coming back to the table every six or 12 months to talk about how hard it is to increase services between regional centres and Sydney.
“If you want to fly between Sydney and Brisbane there’s over 50 flights a day you can catch at roughly half hour intervals. Regional NSW barely gets a look in - fighting to get whatever timeslot scraps are left over from the capital city overkill.
“We know the industry has a keen interest in flights in and out of Tamworth with four airlines now flying commercially between Tamworth and Sydney and Brisbane airports.
“We also know the passenger numbers are strong and they’re growing with Tamworth Regional Airport recording 14.6 per cent growth over the last year with the total number of passengers expected to reach more than 200,000 this year.
“These changes are an absolute necessity for regional development and growth. Tamworth has long term solid growth forecasts which require reliable, sustainable and affordable transport to succeed.
“Airport Coordination Australia needs to know that we’re not going away, we’re going to keep fighting for a fair go not just for the future growth and prosperity of Tamworth, but for all regional NSW cities and towns that face this struggle.
“I fought hard to get the extra timeslots for Virgin Airlines earlier this year and I’m determined to not see that hard work go to waste, which is why I am pursuing this so vigorously.
“Increased competitive transport options are part of my plan to build a better region and I will continue to push for reform in the current peak timeslot arrangements,” Mr Anderson concluded.