Re­gional flight-link pro­posal ‘op­por­tu­nity to grow tourism’

North West Telegraph - - News - Robert Dougherty

Pil­bara res­i­dents have been given the op­por­tu­nity for faster re­gional travel, with a lo­cal char­ter air­line propos­ing weekly “milk run” flights.

More than 300 re­sponses to an on­line sur­vey have been re­ceived af­ter Port Hed­land-based Po­lar Avi­a­tion sug­gested a reg­u­lar ser­vice could be pos­si­ble be­tween Hed­land, Kar­ratha, New­man and Broome.

Po­lar Avi­a­tion se­nior pi­lot Stephen Lavin said a ser­vice could con­nect Pil­bara res­i­dents to hol­i­days in Broome, work in New­man and di­rect Bali flights out of Port Hed­land.

“This would be po­ten­tial reg­u­lar, two flights a week, but whether we get enough peo­ple in­ter­ested would show whether we can do it . . . a lot of peo­ple liv­ing in Hed­land and New­man want to go to Broome. There are sug­ges­tions from BHP em­ploy­ees who want to fly to Broome on their weeks off.”

Mr Lavin said the com­pany would use ex­ist­ing bases in New­man and Hed­land, with two of its 14-seat air-con­di­tioned Cessna 208 Car­a­van air­crafts, to avoid trav­el­ling to Perth.

Aus­tralia’s North West Tourism chief ex­ec­u­tive Glen Chid­low said any ad­di­tional ac­cess to the re­gion would pro­vide tourism op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Whilst the fo­cus of the flights may ini­tially be more on cor­po­rate traf­fic, mak­ing the Pil­bara more ac­ces­si­ble by pro­vid­ing bet­ter in­ter­nal link­ages will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to grow tourism,” he said.

Po­lar Avi­a­tion se­nior pi­lot Stephen Lavin with a 14-seat Cessna 208 Car­a­van.

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