Investigation into regional aviation

A COMMITTEE tasked with investigating the aviation industry’s increasing struggle to provide country communities with reliable services will hear from key stakeholders in Tamworth tomorrow. 

NSW Upper House members, who will also travel to Moree on Wednesday, want to hear first-hand about the challenges local councils have faced recently in securing and retaining air services for their communities.

The failures of Brindabella Airlines and Vincent Aviation, leaving Tamworth without commercial flights to Brisbane, and Narrabri without commercial flights full stop, are symptomatic of a tumultuous period in regional aviation.

Guyra-based MLC Scot MacDonald, who sits on the six-person committee, said the inquiry was called to help identify the factors behind those failures and what the government could do to make regional aviation more robust.

“When centres such as Narrabri and Moree lose their air services, it has all sorts of implications; educational, medical, community, business – you name it, it has a big impact. We’re just trying to get to the bottom of the issue as to why 

we have these weaknesses and why some of the services have trouble being sustainable and what we can do about it,” he said.

Moree mayor Katrina Humphries has welcomed the inquiry and said she would be raising a raft of issues surrounding the government’s handling of the state’s regulated routes.

However, she said one of the major frustrations that Moree had experienced in the aftermath of Brindabella Airlines’ collapse was access into Sydney airport.

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