Port Macquarie Airport's poor arrival and departure times

Fix it up: Designer travel agent Jen Lloyd says Port Macquarie is missing out on potential business and being a destination of choice through poor on time departures and arrivals out of Port Macquarie Airport. Photo: Peter Daniels
Fix it up: Designer travel agent Jen Lloyd says Port Macquarie is missing out on potential business and being a destination of choice through poor on time departures and arrivals out of Port Macquarie Airport. Photo: Peter Daniels

Luxury and groups travel designer Jen Lloyd says Port Macquarie needs to address its poor arrival and departure times at Port Macquarie Airport.

Mrs Lloyd called on Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to address the issue.

"There must be a way for council to advocate on behalf of Port Macquarie to improve these arrival and departure times," she said.

Mrs Lloyd says that's not good enough.

"I have customers who are looking for a reliable service to ensure they meet overseas connections for holidays or conferencing," she said.

"Unfortunately, they may have to alter their plans or even leave a day earlier just to meet connections. This is an extra cost burden.

"At the other end of the scale, we have travellers coming into Port Macquarie who are trying to expand their business footprint; they are wanting to bring business into this area.

"To make that work, you need a reliable air service.

"The feedback I get from customers is that they are frustrated with the unreliable service."

She said customers looking for a brief holiday destination could also be avoiding Port Macquarie because of flight costs and the unreliable service.

Mrs Lloyd said in some instances she has had to book passengers onto the 6.30am flight into Sydney simply to avoid the chances of missing a connecting flight.

"They are actually sitting in Sydney airport virtually all day and then travelling for another 12 hours for an overseas conference or holiday," she said. "You should be able to make a connection in Sydney with a one and a half hour wait time in Sydney."

You should be able to make a connection in Sydney with a one and a half hour wait time in Sydney.

Jen Lloyd

Mrs Lloyd said she understood there were extenuating factors that could affect airport arrival and departure times, including airport control and busy airport traffic.

However, she said, there were other regional airports carrying the same or more passengers as Port Macquarie who experienced better arrival and departure times.

Council group manager Ashley Grummitt said the report only considers services to and from Sydney and does not include the Brisbane service in the analysis.

"On time performance of the Sydney services is influenced by delays into and out of Sydney Airport - including air traffic control - or a compounding delay from the origin airport, particular during peak periods or periods of inclement weather," Mr Grummitt said.

"It is also to be noted that ‘on time’ is defined as being within 15 minutes of the scheduled time - it is important to recognise that the on time stats are just one performance measure and in isolation may not provide the full picture as to the performance of services at Port Macquarie Airport.

"There is no information to indicate the extent of the delay for those flights not ‘on time’.

"Whilst the above issues are outside council’s, and the airport’s, control, council continues to engage and work with the airlines in response to the latest report to encourage improved performance at Port Macquarie Airport.”

President of Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Janette Hyde said it was important for Port Macquarie to have a reliable (air) service.

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