Ballina Byron Gateway Airport. Photo by Luke Marsden.
Ballina Byron Gateway Airport. Photo by Luke Marsden.

Hard border closure could turn Northern Rivers into mini Qld

NOW that Queensland is off limits for NSW and ACT residents, will Sydneysiders and Canberrans flock to the Northern Rivers for a weekend under the sun?

Julie Stewart, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport manager said it's too early to say, but explained the number of visitors to the area was still less than in previous years.

"With the announcement of border closures, the identification of hot spots and travel restrictions, Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is still operating with decreased services and therefore expect a downturn in passenger numbers," she said.

"Melbourne services ceased from July 12, although services from Sydney, Newcastle and Canberra continue to operate."

Ballina airport is expecting five arrivals from Sydney this Friday, services by three airlines - Qantaslink, Jetstar and Rex.

Fly Pelican also has a departure to Canberra scheduled for Friday noon.

Ms Stewart said the airport will work with the airlines and the NSW Government to ensure the safety of passengers, staff and the community.

"The airport continues to provide a range of measures outlined in their COVID Safety Plan. Measures include additional cleaning and sanitisation, temperature checks of all departing and arriving passengers, as well as restricting terminal access to passengers and airport staff to maintain social distancing," she explained.