The Land, 10 September 2015.

KATHERINE’S embattled airport will welcome a commercial flight for the first time in more than a decade on October 19.

Transport Minister Peter Chandler announced this morning that the Northern Territory government had signed an air services agreement with regional operator Airnorth that will link Katherine with Darwin, Tennant Creek and Alice Springs during a two-year trial.

Airnorth will operate the service using an Embraer E120 aircraft on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“Look, I am excited, because it connects the Territory,” he told the Katherine Times after he made the announcement on September 10.

“You’ve got planes that fly over all these places but to actually connect the towns is the icing on the cake.”

Flights have ‘game changer’ potential for tourism

The announcement has been welcomed by Katherine’s tourism sector.

Nitmiluk Tours general manager Tony Clementson said he believed the RPT service could be a “game changer” that had the potential to put the region on the doorstep of tourists who did not have the time to undertake a traditional driving holiday, especially during the wet season.

“I think it’s great news,” he said.

“I think it opens up the region to a whole new audience.

“It will make a big difference to people who are time poor, or who are holidaying in the Top End and aren’t driving.”

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