Federal Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said Tamworth’s inaugural Festival of Flight at the weekend provided an important opportunity for public consultation on the state of the aviation industry across the region.
“The inaugural festival of flight will highlight the strong ties our region has with the aviation industry, which must remain,” Mr Joyce said.
“This festival should also be used as an opportunity for New England businesses and community members to consider how we could attract a second air carrier to the Armidale airport and retain the Australian Defence Force basic flight training school at Tamworth.”
Mr Joyce said he was taking immediate action to address concerns over the future of aviation in New England:
- Barnaby Joyce has written to Qantas CEO Allan Joyce seeking a company review into ongoing community concerns about the level of service provided to New England residents.
- Barnaby Joyce will meet with QantasLink officials and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall to further discuss the quality of service provided by the company.
- Mr Joyce will on Friday (October 18) meet with representatives from BAE systems to discuss the retention of the Australian Defence Force basic flight training school at Tamworth.
- Mr Joyce said the groundwork has already begun to investigate how the Federal Government’s $5.4 million election commitment to upgrade the Armidale Regional Airport could attract other airlines to compete on the Sydney to Armidale route.
“I have been concerned by the lack of substance in the responses provided to local media outlets by QantasLink after genuine community concerns were raised this week,” Mr Joyce said.
“The people across New England should not be experiencing these inconveniences and delays and when they do occur, QantasLink should be providing a prompt and proper explanation.”
Mr Joyce called on New England residents to write to him and detail their personal experiences with the quality of service provided by Qantas.
“The current situation with Qantas is untenable and I have called for a meeting with Qantas officials to demand a better quality service for passengers across New England,” Mr Joyce said.
“I am asking residents to write to my office with their own stories of poor service from Qantas.”
“I want to be able to present a series of specific local examples to Qantas. I will then demand the company explain why the level of service provided by our single air carrier is not up to scratch.”