Sydney Airport access safe: Saffin

REGIONAL airlines have been given an assurance they will not be forced to use Bankstown Airport.

This week Clarence Mayor Richie Williamson raised concerns that a recommendation from Sydney Airports Corporation Ltd to a Federal Government green paper on the future of Sydney Airport could force regional airlines to use Bankstown Airport.

Yesterday, however, the Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, said a move to Bankstown was out of the question.

“There is no basis at all to claims the Federal Government is considering moving regional flights to Bankstown,” she said.

“The Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese, has ruled it out, putting it beyond doubt, that Bankstown would ever become Sydney's second airport.

“This issue should have died years ago, but the Sydney Airport Corporation has again tried to raise the spectre of regional air services being relocated to Bankstown.

“The people of regional Australia are fortunate to have Anthony Albanese as Transport Minister protecting their interests because he has strongly rejected proposals to move regional planes to Bankstown Airport.

“In 2000 the National Party leader and then Transport Minister, John Anderson, told Tamworth's Northern Daily Leader he was not in a position to promise that regional airlines would continue to have guaranteed access to Sydney Airport.

“I have assured Clarence Valley Mayor, Richie Williamson, that the regional air services are not in danger of being shifted to Bankstown Airport.”

A spokesman for Mr Albanese said yesterday Sydney Airport was becoming congested and that movements were capped at about 80 an hour.

He said the Minister had released a green paper discussing the future of the premier airport and had received hundreds of submissions. Many of those came from regional communities outlining their ideas about access to Sydney from regional areas.

He said people could make submissions on issues arising from the green paper.

A white paper is expected to be released later in the year. The spokesman said the Government had also ruled out Badgerys Creek as a site for a second airport.

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