I had to fly to Sydney for an important meeting at 8am. I either go the night before and pay for a hotel plus transport ..train or drive to Sydney. Or drive to Newcastle and stay overnight or drive to Newcastle at 2am. Or, as I did, drive to Port Macquarie at 4.45am.
It is so frustrating not having an air service for our massive electorate.
So I sent Council a few questions to update me on just what is going on at Taree airport, if anything.
I sent this to the Council’s media rep –
“Can you please fill me in on what’s happening ..if anything…re getting an airline service back into Taree?
What are the issues and problems with the airport apart from runway not fit for purpose and also unable to take the bigger planes.
Why did Rex pull out?
Are there any plans to upgrade the airport to attract an airline service?”
This is what I received from the MidCoast Council acting media representative.
In response to your query about Taree Airport, please find a response from Council below:
Regular passenger transport (RPT) air services from the Taree Airport ceased on 31 July 2022.These services were being provided by FlyPelican.
FlyPelican intends to review the viability of the Sydney to Taree and the Taree to Sydney flight routes during 2023 and Council has retained a strong relationship with this service provider.
Council has been liaising with the Office of the Federal member in order to source a funding stream to subsidise a regular passenger transport operator offering services to and from Taree Airport.
Council understands that without a subsidy both flights to and from Taree to Sydney are unviable given the low passenger numbers.
There are no issues with the Taree Airport or runway which prevent the provision of a regular passenger transport service.
The airport is limited in terms of the size of the planes that can take off and land as the pavement is not strong enough to carry the weight of much larger planes (Boeing 737-800 and the Airbus A321).
In relation to “REX”, as you would be aware the company is a previous supplier of RPT air services from the Taree Airport.
‘REX” chose to discontinue these services due to ongoing viability issues (low passenger numbers) and are unlikely to return given that they have larger planes than FlyPelican and need to fill more seats to be viable.
In simple terms, there needs to be a significant increase in passenger numbers or a government subsidy to entice any RPT provider to resume services from the Taree Airport.
If you need any further information, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Sent from my iPhone
Sara Wilson | Community Relations and Education Coordinator
Direct (02) 7955 7334 | Mobile 0409 339 518
Email Sara.Wilson@midcoast.nsw.gov.au | midcoast.nsw.gov.au
I then contacted Rex Airlines Director of Media.
He gave a hollow laugh and directed me to their press release when they terminated the Taree Service telling me there was nothing more to say.
This was the press release from Rex when they terminated service to Taree.
Surely we can do better.