REGIONAL AIR SLOT TALKS GAINING WINGS
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson met in Canberra last night with Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce to discuss getting a better deal for regional airlines flying into Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney.
Mr Anderson said the problem is there are no new slots available for new services that want to start up in regional NSW and fly to Sydney Airport. This is causing significant concern for regional growth and economic development, particularly in Tamworth.
“I believe progress was made in the meeting with both Minister Chester and Minister Joyce keen to assist. A number of options were discussed that could be considered including a review of the current restrictions on aircraft movements at Sydney Airport.
Currently Sydney Airport is capped at 80 aircraft movements an hour and Mr Anderson said a number of options were discussed at last nights meeting including lifting the hourly movements cap from 80 to 85.
“That increase also forms part of the NSW Government response to Recommendation (3) from the 2014 Inquiry into Regional Aviation Services.
“It states that the NSW Government write to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport to encourage a review of the current slot allocation and movements cap systems in place at Sydney Airport. This should include eliminating the 15 minute movement cap and the removal of regional turboprop aircraft from the movements cap.
Mr Anderson today met with the NSW Transport Minister’s office and was assured they are in the process of following through on Recommendation (3) and will write to the Federal Minister.
“Other discussion topics included the curfew, optional runways and reviewing the slot management scheme.”
Deputy Prime Minister Joyce said he was pleased that an issue like this could be tackled from both the Federal and State level.
“In The Nationals, we’re always trying to help the people living in the edges of our Electorates and our regions,” Mr Joyce said.
Minister Chester said “I appreciate Kevin Anderson’s interest on behalf of his community and I’m keen to work with him and the Deputy Prime Minister to improve aviation access.”
Mr Anderson said Minister Chester has requested a full brief on this issue.
“I am looking forward to continuing to explore options so that we get a better deal for aviation not only in Tamworth but right across regional NSW,” Mr Anderson concluded.