Shire signs flight agreement
The Shire of Broome has backed the study of direct flights to the Pilbara, after entering into a non-binding agreement with a Kununurra-based aviation company last week.
The Kimberley town has become the fifth local government to enter the memorandum of understanding with Aviair, a huge swing in momentum after the Shire of Ashburton quickly dismissed it.
The revival of the company in Broome would link the town with other North West destinations, including Port Hedland, Karratha, Onslow, Exmouth and Newman.
Although no official costs have been released to the public yet, it is understood a passenger would pay about $600 for a direct flight.
As part of the memorandum of understanding, Aviair will work with the Pilbara Regional Council to provide the Shire with regular updates on further developments, case studies, reports, data and, eventually, a requested amount of funding.
The non-binding agreement, which the council carried at an ordinary meeting on Thursday, will give the Shire a seat at the table to negotiate with local governments in the Pilbara throughout the feasibility and analysis stage.
It is understood the company hoped to garner two years of local government funding until reaching a stage of self-sufficiency.
Aviair managing director Michael McConachy said he was delighted the Shire entered into the MOU.
“We have put a lot of work in the development of the proposal and worked closely with the various shires and chambers,” he said.
“We look forward to continuing this work over the next couple of months before introducing a more formal proposal.” Acting Shire president Harold Tracey said he hoped the proposal continued to gain traction.
“I am optimistic that, given the support of a number of local councils, the State government will look at getting on board as well,” he said.
“I anticipate the intra-regional service would start small and benefit businesses trying to operate between the regions but I could see it expanding and even benefiting tourism in the future.”
Aviair managing director Michael McConachy.