NO DECISION has been made on whether Tamworth Airport will be turned into an international airport for the arrival of the New Zealand Warriors on Sunday afternoon.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the Australian Border Force (ABF) still had not granted an exemption for the group of 40 players and support staff to fly direct to Tamworth and undergo customs checks.
"That authority has not been provided and no amount of reporting it will change those restrictions," he said.
"ABF have received that application and when they are in a position to authorise it then they will."
The Leader spoke exclusively with Warriors chief executive Cameron George earlier today, who was still waiting on a decision from the border protection agency.
Mr George said he was hopeful and eagerly awaited a decision so he could start preparations in Tamworth if the team was granted approval.
Tamworth Regional Airport has received notification of a charter flight from Auckland.
#BREAKING | Despite "exclusive" media reports the #NRL NZ Warriors have been given national cabinet approval, the decision will come down to the ABF who are still processing the application. As reported earlier by @The_NDL in conversation with Warriors' CEO Cameron George.— Madeline Link (@madeline_link) May 1, 2020
"Staff at the airport are ready to work with Border Force staff based in Newcastle, who will travel to Tamworth to manage immigration procedures in the event the flight is given permission to land," a Tamworth Regional Council spokeswoman said.
"It is not the airport's policy to release any specific details of flights or the identity of passengers."
The Warriors' arrival on Sunday is crucial to the NRL hopes of a May 28 season restart.