NARRABRI passengers have again been left disappointed after Vincent Aviation lost its race against time to secure all the necessary approvals to begin flights to Sydney this morning.
The airline was due to fly out of Sydney at 6.45am and arrive in Narrabri at 8.05am in what would mark the return of flights to the town following the collapse of Brindabella Airlines late last year.
But despite the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) clearing the carrier to fly on Monday, Transport for NSW did not have time to complete its assessment and issue the airline an interim operating licence.
At the time of going to print, there was no official indication from either Vincent Aviation or Transport for NSW on what caused the hold-up or when the service would begin.
Narrabri mayor Conrad Bolton described the postponement as a “minor hiccup” and said he was extremely confident the matter would be sorted out quickly.
“We’re trying to process an outcome, that normally takes several months, in a fast-tracked and responsive sort of manner,” he said.
“Obviously there will be minor hiccups created because of that, but it doesn’t dissolve the department’s responsibility to make sure they do due diligence.”
Tickets for the flights, starting at $149, went on sale on February 3 in anticipation of the airline being cleared to fly.
The Northern Territory-based airline showed no signs it was expecting trouble when last Friday it issued a statement following a successful “proving flight” between Sydney and Narrabri conducted under the supervision of CASA.
“It is an exciting time for the Narrabri local community, who can reinstate regular travel plans to Sydney with confidence following CASA’s certification of Vincent Aviation’s operating service,” the statement said.