OUR VIEW: Regional aviation answers maybe just over the horizon

The NSW government will have to provide down-to-earth, practical solutions to problems in regional passenger aviation before the mess gets any worse.

Several Western local councils yesterday laid out the challenges and disadvantages communities faced because they had limited or no passenger services.

A Legislative Council inquiry into regional air services heard submissions in Dubbo. It may have been an ear-bashing, but the sky is just another area where the regions lose out.

Lack of services can limit economic growth, be a disincentive to business, cut chances of attracting skilled workers and prevent critical health and community services reaching disadvantaged people.

It places unneeded stress on chronically ill people who need to travel for treatment, disadvantages older people and non-drivers and forces people into longer travel times on trains (also limited) or the roads where there are safety concerns.

The list of issues would probably fill a plane … if there was one.

Then there is the high cost of air tickets for passengers to Sydney and elsewhere.

Many councils have airports with high maintenance costs – even if they aren’t being used.

To top it off Sydney’s second airport plan raises a question?

Where will regional flights land – at Sydney airport or Badgerys Creek, about 90 minutes away.

More travel time.

The inquiry members and government need to take the issues seriously and fix them, not allow them to disappear like lost luggage.

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