Government Welcomes Cathay Direct Flights to Adelaide
20 December 2013
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss has welcomed Cathay Pacific's decision to introduce direct flights between Adelaide and Hong Kong, facilitating same day connections to China and other Asian cities.
The Tourism and Transport Forum estimates there will be a direct economic benefit to tourism in South Australia of $24 million a year from this direct flight. At present, just 29 per cent of South Australia’s inbound international visitors are from Asia compared to 43 per cent for the rest of Australia.
Mr Truss said direct services to Asia would provide a boost for the South Australian economy at a time when it is badly needed.
“The Coalition Government has declared Australia open for business and these flights will open South Australia to expanding business opportunities with north Asia,” Mr Truss said.
“The Government has approved the flights to operate in Adelaide Airport's curfew ‘shoulder’ period between 5am and 6am from April to October next year. The flights are allowed under the Adelaide Airport Curfew Act, which was introduced in 2000 to provide night-time aircraft noise respite for Adelaide residents.
“Flights in the curfew shoulder must meet special rules, including approaching the airport over Gulf St Vincent unless it is unsafe to do so and following even stricter noise abatement procedures.”
Mr Truss said he is very conscious of the need to balance the economic benefits of the new flights with concerns local residents have about aircraft noise from the early morning flights. The flights need to land in Adelaide at this time to accommodate available slots in Hong Kong and to enable connections to other parts of Asia and Europe.
Federal Member for Hindmarsh Matt Williams raised local concerns with Mr Truss and extra provisions have been included. In addition to the rules laid down in the Adelaide Airport Curfew Act, Mr Truss has worked with the Mr Williams on a plan to ensure the airline's compliance with the approved flight path and to increase monitoring of the noise levels of the flights.
Mr Williams said that he has asked for the extra monitoring of the flights and for regular reporting to the Adelaide Airport Community Consultation Group, and the Minister has agreed to his requests.
The direct Hong Kong to Adelaide flight is scheduled to operate only in the Northern Hemisphere Summer season commencing 6 April 2014.