Albury Airport patrons dropping

ALBURY Airport passenger numbers have dipped again with a 6.3 per cent drop in the 2013-14 financial year.

It remains the third busiest airport in regional NSW, but there were almost 17,000 fewer passengers than the previous year.

The total passenger tally of 251,654 incorporated the third successive decline since numbers peaked at 289,298 in 2009-10.

It was the lowest total since 2007-08 when numbers were 249,000.

Albury mayor Kevin Mack said the latest figures reflected a tough aviation market.

“The numbers peaked in 2009-10 and there was really only one way we could have gone and that was down,” he said.

“Once the market dips we feel that dip as well.

“But it is a 6 per cent drop and we can’t hide from that.”

A decade ago 158,000 passengers used Albury Airport every year.

Cr Mack said a recent request from Rex Airlines for a discount on landing fees at regional airports underlined the tough conditions.

“We haven’t moved on that because we don’t think we should,” he said.

In the past 12 months, a $2.6 million runway re-seal was undertaken by the council.

Wodonga-based Downer EDI Works completed the re-seal of the 1900-metre long runway, with the work carried out at night to ensure no disruption to flights.

The work was the first major upgrade of its type since 1997.

“We still have the third highest passenger numbers in the state,” Cr Mack said.

“The facilities and infrastructure are second to none.

“We continue to do what we do and it is still a profitable airport.”

Night works are again being done at the airport with the runway surface being “grooved”.

It will improve surface drainage during wet weather.