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Regional NSW flights to stop at Bankstown?`

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Senator Kerry O'Brien Shadow Minister for Transport


The Government admits that cutting flights from regional centres into Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport is a live option, said Shadow Minister for Transport Senator Kerry O’Brien.

“Today Minister Campbell failed to specifically rule out removing landing slots for regional carriers at Sydney Airport and diverting these flights to Bankstown.

“Last week the Productivity Commission released the draft Review of Price Regulation of Airports Services. Regional passengers should be very concerned over the following:

During the airport’s busiest periods — between 7:00am and 9:30am on weekday mornings — the number of slots sought by airlines approaches or exceeds the number available. If it is assumed that all scheduled regional flights during these times could be replaced with domestic and international flights, up to 4000 additional passengers could be flown into or out of Sydney. This represents a significant efficiency loss, especially considering that many of these passengers would most likely be prepared to pay a considerable premium to be able to access Sydney Airport at these peak times.

“When asked whether regional airlines may be forced to operate into Bankstown Airport the Minister could not deny that this was a live option.

“It is clear that the conclusions drawn by the Productivity Commission could lead to higher ticket prices or regional airlines being stopped from accessing Sydney Airport between 7.00 and 9.30 weekday mornings. This would mean that Bankstown Airport would become the de facto second Sydney airport. Neither of these options is fair to regional travellers.

“I call on the Minister for Transport to categorically rule out a reduction in access to Sydney Airport for regional airlines and to come clean about the future plans for Bankstown Airport”, said Senator O’Brien.

13 September 2006

Contact: Kerry O’Brien 0419 007 780 David Tansey 0407 435 624