ALBURY councillor Darren Cameron dropped a bombshell last night when he raised the prospect of selling one of the city’s most profitable assets — the airport.
Cr Cameron used the urgent business section of the meeting to stun fellow councillors with a request they consider the idea.
It followed the council earlier in the meeting awarding a $2.6 million contract for improvements to the airport runway in coming weeks.
“It is something I would hope I could convince my fellow councillors to at least look at,” he said.
“We owe it to our community from time to time to review the ways we manage the city and its assets.
“It won’t be popular in some circles to even talk about such things.
“But what would be the parameters if we were even to think about privatisation or sale of the airport?
“It is not something that can be done tonight.
“I would hope it is something we could at least have a discussion about.
“It might even be proven the way we are doing it now is the best way.”
Albury Airport is the third busiest in regional NSW and experienced major growth in passenger numbers throughout the 2000s.
They climbed from 122,493 in 2001-02 to 282,451 in 2008-09 and have remained around that level.
Cr Alice Glachan queried whether a review of the airport operations wasn’t already under way.
General manager Frank Zaknich confirmed this was the case.
“The review we are undertaking around the airport strategy and business planning in the medium to long term includes assessments of options going forward of the most appropriate operating model for the airport,” he said.
“It is certainly something we will be reporting back on.”
The council has completed major car park and other terminal upgrades at the airport in recent years.