Regional Express

A flight path to nowhere!

A PROPOSAL to shift regional airlines flying out of Coffs Harbour from landing at Sydney Airport to Bankstown Airport has been slammed by local Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker.

Media reports earlier this week in Sydney stated that the Sydney Airport Corporation plans to divert regional planes to Bankstown in western Sydney.

But Mr Hartsuyker said the Rudd Government must quash any plan immediately. (See Regional airport access safe - Saffin).

“The Sydney Airport Corporation is only focused on looking after the larger airplanes from the big airlines,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“If planes from Grafton and Coffs Harbour are forced to land at Bankstown it will provide a tremendous inconvenience for those who have to catch a connecting flight from Mascot. In many cases it would make plane travel not worthwhile.

Mr Hartsuyker also claims that the change would also significantly add to the cost of doing business and therefore place regional businesses in New South Wales at a competitive disadvantage.

“The Rudd Government must immediately knock this proposal on the head. Not only does the uncertainty concern existing residents but it also acts as a deterrent to attracting people to move from the city,” he said.

“The Coalition has a firm commitment to retaining the guaranteed landing slots for regional flights. Those quarantined rights are vital to providing regional communities with an essential service.

“We also recognise the economic benefits of having a vibrant regional airline sector.

“That is why we remain committed to retaining the guaranteed landing slots.”

Mr Hartsuyker laid the blame for the plan at the office of Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, who he said was a city-centric politician with no regard for regional areas.

“With the stroke of a pen he could transfer regional flights to Bankstown and decimate the regional market in New South Wales,” he said.

• WILL an airport shift from a Sydney terminal to Bankstown affect you?

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