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Bankstown regional operations “impossible” – RAAA

written by WOFA | June 28, 2013

A rare sight - a QantasLink Dash 8 at Bankstown after diverting from Sydney after curfew in January. (Lee Gatland)

The Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) has rejected new calls for regional airline operations to be moved from Sydney Airport to Bankstown, labelling Bankstown Airport, in Sydney’s southwest, as “commercially and operationally impossible”.

Moving regional airline flights from Bankstown is often suggested as a way of relieving some of the capacity constraints at Sydney Airport, but regional access to Australia’s busiest airport is currently guaranteed via government legislation.

“Regional aviation is a vital part of the national aviation infrastructure and regional passengers have every right to access Sydney Airport and to benefit from the same connectivity enjoyed by domestic and international passengers. The RAAA will be making this point regularly in the lead up to the next federal election,” RAAA chief executive Paul Tyrrell said.

Tyrell noted that not only does Bankstown lack connectivity to domestic and international flights for regional passengers, but its runways are too short for regional airliners such as the Saab 340 and Metro series to takeoff at maximum weights, even on a cold day, thus limiting aircraft range and/or revenue payloads.

Earlier this week the federal government announced it was extending protected access for regional airlines to Sydney Airport through to 2016.

“Sydney Airport is approaching capacity and regional airlines face real pressures to maintain their access in that environment,” Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said in a June 24 joint statement with Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury.

“Extending current arrangements until 2016 ensures commercial pressures do not push regional airlines out, in favour of larger commercial interstate and international airlines.”


Part of that extension has seen the Assistant Treasure amend the rules governing regional airline access to Sydney Airport to limit price increases to regional airlines to be no greater than CPI.


  • Matt


    rwy 11c/29c TODA 1476m

    SAAB ARFL 1220m

    Metro 23 ARFL 1341m

    Dash 8 – 300 ARFL 1122m

    Q400 ARFL 1354m

  • Scott


    Typical ersponse now its been festering for over 40 years… “Quick… that looks like a runway…. use it”

    Why can’t Australia use its intelligence and plan our own future, why do we need to rush into the cheapest options on some kind of lowest common denominator 3rd world budget thinking? We pay heavy taxes for the priviledge to live in this country, its time we got what we pay for and for Government to tighten its belt (full of our our money) for a change…

    How about we stop taxing everything to a standstill, stop selling everything off overseas, stop stupid purchases like Desalination, and invest in real infrastructure and then let businesses run their businesses for a profit. Both sides of Government have plenty to answer for here, this is not some Labour or Liberal bashing, but a broadside on the pair of them. I am sick and tired of successive governments serving their interest groups at the expense of the broader community.

    Perhaps we shouldn’t have closed Schofields and Hoxton Park……. Its not like this wasn’t made clear at the time that Sydney is under-airported by world standards. If they start using Richmond as a “temporary” airport then be prepared to move the RAAF Out for the next 50 + years till its deemed, in retrospect, to be a permanant (and very substandard) option….

  • Maurice Dee


    In opinion Bankstown is most unsuitable for serious development; it is too hemmed in by the developing population.

    On the other hand Richmond has an open area to the south and to the north on which a full length runway could be built if the Richmond to Windsor Road was put in a cutting/tunnel. New terminal facilities could be established where the Hawkesbury Showground is now established.

    The existing road and rail system could provide adequate local service, if duplicated, but the key to the project would be the building of a bullet-train link between the terminal at Richmond and the terminal at Mascot; the transit would take approximately 15 mins. If the trains were only say two carriages long they could accelerate rapidly to full speed and, as soon as the platform was cleared, be replaced by another such that a vehicle would be available every minute – or better.

    Line construction need not be a nightmare if it was run overhead on concrete columns as has been done with the MRT in Singapore, for instance.

    I agree with the basic comment made by the previous writer that we should stop wavering about and get on with building for the future.

  • Adrian Paddingtom


    Perhaps build a new hub airport at Port Headland.
    Instead of over flying Port Headland and spending 4 hours flying across Australia to Sydney and then spending 2 hours on a regional flight to get to where you want go, how about clearing customs at Port Headland and then a short 2 hour flight to your destination?
    It could also serve as a useful International hub in to Indonesia.

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