THE Narrabri community’s extended period without any air services appears set to end later this month.
Vincent Aviation has revealed it is seeking regulatory approval to fill the void left by Brindabella Airlines.
The Northern Territory-based carrier intends to operate a daily return service between Narrabri and Sydney.
It is also seeking permission from the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority (CASA) to add the Narrabri to Brisbane route to its licence.
Narrabri mayor Conrad Bolton and Barwon MP Kevin Humphries have been in discussions with the airline since Brindabella collapsed.
Councillor Bolton said it was vital to recruit an airline with an impressive record in order to start rebuilding the community’s confidence.
“We’re bringing in a company that’s got a bit of corporate governance and a good, solid history,” he said.
“They’re not promising the world, but they’re going to tailor a service that works for them and the community.”
Vincent Aviation operates commercial flights throughout the Northern
Territory, as well as servicing remote areas reliant on fly-in, fly-out workers.
CASA must sign off on a raft of regulatory requirements – a process expected to take several weeks – before Transport for NSW can grant the airline a temporary licence.
If the airline wishes to service the route beyond March, it must participate in a tender process to be conducted by Transport for NSW.
Advancing Narrabri president Richard Orr said the loss of air services had undoubtedly hurt the town’s economy over the past month.
But he said he hoped for a quick recovery once an airline was established and regained the trust of customers.
“We’re obviously pleased to see that something happened so fast and will provide the service that people require so we can continue to grow Narrabri,” Mr Orr said.
“The lack of reliability that was happening with Brindabella meant that people couldn’t make plans with any confidence.”
While Vincent Aviation has not announced a starting date for the flights, it has indicated the fares would be comparable to those charged by Brindabella.