The air passenger route between Moruya and Sydney is under review, meaning cheaper flights could be on the horizon. We’re working with Bega Valley Shire Council to ask our communities what they think about deregulating the route, with the aim of increasing competition between airlines. Moruya Airport provides important services to local businesses and the community, including economic, social and medical links to Sydney and other locations.The Sydney-Moruya-Merimbula route is currently a regulated route under the Air Transport Act 1964 (AT Act). The regulation was designed to protect small airports by issuing five year licences to a single airline to operate the service. Licensing can protect operators from competition, to increase stability and encourage market development. The threshold for a route being allocated to one licensed operator is that less than 50,000 passengers are carried per annum. The existing five-year licences expire in March 2018. Extending deregulation to the Sydney-Moruya-Merimbula routes is now being considered by the NSW Government. Deregulation may increase the opportunity for Council and the community to work closely with airlines to develop services that best meet local needs.It will allow multiple airlines to fly between Sydney and Moruya if they believe it is commercially viable to do so.Council is discussing possible deregulation and is seeking community comment. An air transport licence provides little protection for regional communities, as air services in NSW are operated on a commercial basis and an airline may withdraw from the route at any time, whether it is licensed or not.
Eurobodalla Shire Council and Bega Valley Shire Council are working together in seeking feedback and responding the NSW Government.The Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, the Hon. Andrew Constance MP, must consider a number of matters under the AT Act:the needs of the public of NSW as a whole and the area along the routes concerned,fostering competition between airlines using these routes,any effect on the maintenance or development of the air services within NSW, and any effect on the economic development or environment of the area.The Moruya-Merimbula-Sydney air passenger service is vital for Eurobodalla, and Council’s General Manager, Dr Catherine Dale is encouraging the community to give their view to the potential deregulation including its impact on competition and effects on the economy. Please send any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 November 2016. Source