03 May 2017
Today I"m pleased to confirm that two charter flights have been commissioned to address the issue of freight waiting for shipment to Norfolk Island. These flights will operate on May 19 and 20 and should clear the known backlog of freight at Sydney and Brisbane airports.
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has chartered a 737-300 aircraft from Toll Holdings Pty Ltd for the freight flights. The aircraft will make two separate deliveries, one from Brisbane and one from Sydney, as there is a significant amount of freight in each city.
The first delivery will arrive on-island from Brisbane on Friday May 19. The plane will then return to the mainland and deliver the freight from Sydney to Norfolk the next day, Saturday May 20. The chartered flights will also allow any cargo to be transported from the island to the mainland on the return flights.
A quantity of computing equipment and building materials for Norfolk Island Central School and the Norfolk Island Health and Residential Aged Care Service will also be delivered on the flights. Delivery of this material by air will ensure arrival in a timely fashion to keep the capital works upgrade program on track and maximise the Department's ability to undertake additional works within the contracted timeframe of 30 June.
I would like to welcome the recent announcement of a regular weekly Norfolk Island Airlines service from Brisbane and Auckland beginning in late June that should have some capacity to carry freight. I"m confident that these new flights will contribute to increasing air freight capacity to Norfolk Island in the future.
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development will continue to discuss options with industry for longer term solutions to the freight issue.