Coffs Harbour City Council is working on a long-term lease of Coffs Harbour Regional Airport to a private operator.
Coffs Harbour City Council is working on a long-term lease of Coffs Harbour Regional Airport to a private operator.

New website aims to set record straight on airport’s future

A NEW website aiming to set the record straight on the future of Coffs Harbour Regional Airport has been launched, providing answers to some concerns surrounding the planned lease - including that the revenue will not be used to fund the Cultural and Civic Space project.

This comes after Coffs Harbour City Council had first voted in favour of exploring the potential of leasing the airport to a private operator back in December 2018.

The council is now working with independent adviser KPMG Australia to secure a long-term lease of the council asset.

The process is currently in the binding bids stage, which is expected to close in March before the decision will be put up for a final vote at a council meeting.

The exact details, including the proposed length of the lease, are at this stage bound by confidentiality due to commercial sensitivity issues.

In information provided by the website, the council states a private lessee will provide investment in the airport, including for increased flight frequency and routes, and the development of the Airport Enterprise Park.

The private lease model, which has been successfully implemented at over 24 airports across the country, will deliver revenues that will fund future community projects but will not be used to fund current projects, according to the website.

The council has also attempted to ease concerns regarding airport costs rising as a result of the private lease.

"Leasing the airport will not automatically drive up the costs of air travel locally. Any experienced operator will be careful to take a balanced approach between business growth and increased costs."

Also featured on the website is a 'Have Your Say' section where online users can submit questions and comments, and there are also a number of case studies available on airports that have implemented the lease model including the Gold Coast, Canberra, Townsville and Launceston.

The website can be viewed here.



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