Devastating blow to Derby-Perth flight trial

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Jakeb WaddellBroome Advertiser
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The refurbished Derby Airport opened last week.
Camera IconThe refurbished Derby Airport opened last week. Credit: Derby Visitor Centre

A tender process for long-awaited commercial passenger trial flights between Perth and Derby has failed.

In a statement released today, the Department of Transport said no airline submissions presented a cost-effective option for the twice weekly 12-month trial, which the State Government committed $1 million towards in the 2017-18 Budget.

The multi million-dollar refurbished Derby Airport has not processed one commercial flight since it was officially opened in November last year.

The town has not had a direct route with Perth since 2016.

DoT director general Richard Sellers said the Shire of Derby-West Kimberley would now work with airlines, as well as the resources and tourism sector, to look at other opportunities and present any proposals to the State Government.

“The $1 million subsidy will remain available should a value-for-money alternative be put forward,” he said.

“DoT will continue to regularly engage with and support the Shire, providing feedback and technical guidance on any innovative and collaborative ideas that might be put forward for the air route.”

The Broome Advertiser reported in April that frustration was rife among the Derby community, after an announcement about the successful airline had been delayed.

Shire president Geoff Haerewa said at the time that the number one question his council were asked was when the flights were starting and that he was disappointed he had no answer to give them.

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