A subsidised Regular Public Transport (RPT) air service allowing people to fly between Kununurra and Halls Creek will start on July 1, 2016.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the service would be trialled for an initial 12 months, with an option for a 12 month extension depending on passenger demand.
“The RPT air service, to be operated by local provider Aviair, will fly three days a week return from Kununurra to Halls Creek, providing Halls Creek residents and surrounding communities with regular access to air transport services,” Mr Nalder said.
“After consulting with various communities in the Kimberley regarding the current Kimberley Subsidised Air Service (KSAS), we found the majority of users were travelling from Halls Creek, with limited numbers travelling from Fitzroy Crossing to Broome and Derby to Broome.”
The trial service will replace the current KSAS, which operates on the Broome-Derby-Fitzroy Crossing-Halls Creek route.
The Minister said the objective of the subsidised air route was to provide greater access for residents in Halls Creek and surrounding communities to services available in the larger centre of Kununurra.
“Halls Creek residents and surrounding communities will now be eligible for subsidised fares when booking tickets. Non-residents are welcome to use the service, however they will receive a lower subsidy compared with Halls Creek residents,” he said.
Services on the current Broome-Derby-Fitzroy Crossing-Halls Creek route will cease operating on June 30, 2016 and will be replaced with the Kununurra to Halls Creek (and return) route.
Aviair, previously known as Slingair, was established in 1984. Based in Kununurra, the East Kimberley, with bases at Broome and Port Hedland in Western Australia and Bankstown in New South Wales, it operates a fleet of Cessna 208 Grand Caravans.