Letter to the editor: Closure of Essendon airport will harm regional Victoria
Essendon Airport plays a major role in providing the closest possible avenue to Melbourne’s major hospitals for people from regional Victoria who are in need of critical medical attention.
Essendon Airport is a hub for Victoria's emergency services, particularly for those who live in regional areas with limited access to Melbourne’s hospital facilities.
Melbourne’s major hospitals, including the Royal Children’s, Royal Melbourne and Woman’s Hospital are just 12 km from Essendon Airport.
With 8,000 incidents per year being attended by Air Ambulance and the Police Air wing, overlooking the crucial role that this airport plays in transporting patients in need of emergency attention would harm people in regional Victoria.
The Nationals do not support the closure of the Essendon Airport. Other airports such as Avalon or Moorabbin are too far away from the major hospitals and the precious minutes lost in traffic congestion in Melbourne may cost lives.
We need to avoid a knee-jerk reaction to the tragic accident that took place at Essendon Airport. We must remain focused on the significance of the airport in providing emergency assistance.
It is crucial that we don’t diminish the importance of Essendon Airport as an emergency services hub for people in regional areas.