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Lake Macquarie to Sydney idea taking off


Direct flights from Lake Macquarie to Sydney that take 35-minutes gate-to-gate and depart and return five times a day – that’s the plan Lake Mac Airlines founder Paul Lister hopes will soon take off.

Since Aeropelican’s wings were clipped in 2001 by the demise of Ansett, Lister has been dreaming of taking to the skies with regular passenger flights from Lake Macquarie Airport to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.

That dream is now growing wings, with the airline actively seeking investors to come onboard to support the recommencement of flights.  

And, with the cost of road transport increasing, Paul believes this is an idea that is set to soar.

“We’re looking to re-establish the commuter air service that used to operate here 19 years ago,” he said.

“Market research suggests that numbers are extremely strong.

“We think the service will be very popular and very competitive in its pricing if you add up the cost of tolls, plus fuel, plus parking at Sydney Airport.”

Lake Mac Airlines

Passenger flights between Lake Macquarie and Sydney were originally serviced by Aeropelican, before it relocated to Newcastle Airport in Williamtown, in 2004.

The 35-minute journey between Marks Point and Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport welcomed 92,000 passengers per year during its reign, which lasted from 1968 to 2004.

When the final flight departed the airstrip (also known as Belmont Airport and Pelican Airport) in 2004, Paul says it was a sad day for regional aviation and the Lake Macquarie community.

“When Ansett was placed into administration in 2001 following a financial collapse and liquidation, the Aeropelican fleet was sold off to an international company and that’s where it ended.

“It was a shame, and I think now is the perfect time to return the service.”

Lake Mac Airlines has developed a comprehensive business plan that would see multiple services fly between Lake Macquarie Airport in Marks Point, to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport each day.

Lake Mac Airlines

By partnering with an experienced aircraft operator the company plans to offer an alternative to travelling between the state’s capital and the Hunter region.

“For people from Lake Macquarie it makes no sense to drive north to Newcastle Airport to fly south, and we want to give people an alternative to driving.

“Travelling on the M1 these days is like a lottery, you never know what the traffic is going to be like or if there will be accidents that frequently close the motorway,” Paul adds. 

“There are 93 destinations available from Sydney Airport, think about the overseas and domestic flight connections and of course the tourism opportunities for Lake Macquarie.”

In fact, Paul has thought of little else but the possibilities of the launch of Lake Mac Airlines for the past 12 months.

And the response from the community he says, has been encouraging.

“The messages of support on social media have all been positive,” he told Newcastle Weekly.

Lake Mac Airlines is planning on using the Cessna Grand Caravan, a turbo-prop aircraft configured for nine passengers plus crew, or the brand new twin engined Tecnam P2012. 

Lake Mac Airlines director Paul Lister (middle) says his plan to reestablish a commuter air service between Lake Macquarie and Sydney has received the support of Dantia board members Joshua Sattler (left) and Chris Liddell (right).

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