Dubbo to Asia flights a possibility

RDA Orana president John Walkom and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant with copies of the new reports. Photo: RDA ORANA

RDA Orana president John Walkom and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant with copies of the new reports. Photo: RDA ORANA

Dubbo and residents in surrounding areas may be able to fly directly to Asia in the future, with a new report showing the city may be able to support an international passenger service by 2050.

A study conducted on behalf of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana found that flights utilising passenger and freight transport to an Asian destination such as Hong Kong could be viable by the middle of the century.

Orana International Air Frieght Feasibility Study was one of two released by RDA Orana, with the other, Orana Freight and Logistics Capability Study, looking at the future of road and rail.

RDA Orana chairman John Walkom and Dubbo MP Troy Grant launched the report at a luncheon at Dubbo RSL on Monday, in front of representatives of local industry and mayors from the Orana region.

When it comes to the current state of road and rail, the report found Dubbo was well connected to the state’s road freight network and that network didn’t constrain local production.

However it found if roads weren’t improved in the future, it could result in prohibitive freight costs for regional producers.

Mr Walkom said the air freight report was commissioned with the intention of finding if it would be possible and viable to use air freight.

“It’s not a short to medium term thing, it’s long term because we are looking at tripling our freight task by 2050. It’s visionary and it’s certainly not impossible,” he said.

Mr Walkom said direct freight to Asia would provide agriculture with a significant boost, opening up opportunities to take food from the farm gate to supermarket shelves within 24 hours.

The reports are available on the website www.rdaorana.org.au.