The State Government will financially support the increase of flights in and out of Derby as demand surges following the Kimberley floods. Regional operator Aviair has received increased airfare subsidy support from the McGowan Government, allowing the number of services to increase temporarily from four return flights per week to up to 35. The operator currently offers the only means of transport between Broome and Derby after Great Northern Highway was severely damaged by flooding caused by ex-tropical cyclone Ellie. A 10km stretch of the highway between Willare Bridge and Cockatoo Creek was damaged, with 3km requiring total reconstruction. Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said the McGowan Government was committed to ensuring people in flood-affected communities received support to recover and rebuild. “This service is . . . a crucial conduit for the delivery of people and supplies needed for the recovery process,” she said. “The State Government has worked closely with Aviair to bring these additional services online in a short time frame and I’d like to acknowledge the efforts and willingness of all involved to collaborate in this time of crisis to help us ensure the community stays connected.” Works have begun to repair the damage, with two road reconstruction crews working from either end of the affected section of the highway. A temporary gravel road will be constructed, with works on the Willare section of the highway expected to take around four weeks.