The state's opposition party has made its position known on ensuring the long-term viability of council-operated airports beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
NSW Labor has urged the state government to commit to economic assistance for regional councils who operate these facilities, including the Narrandera-Leeton Airport.
Regional Express is the main passenger aircraft that utilises this airport, but local governments across the state have been hit with a loss of landing fees during this pandemic.
Narrandera Shire Council operates the Narrandera-Leeton Airport, with Leeton Shire Council contributing one third of the operating shortfall.
Leeton shire does not make any profit from airport operations.
Recently, Narrandera shire ratified its mayor's urgent action to respond to Rex's call for assistance during a critical time in its regular public transport (RPT) operations.
As a result, Narrandera's general manager George Cowan has advised Leeton shire his council has agreed to waive landing fees for Rex at the airport from April 1 to June 30 and that it will apply 50 per cent landing fees from July 1 to December 31.
"If pre- COVID-19 impacts on RPT services are taken into account, the reduction in landing fees or head taxes would amount to around $48,000 which would be foregone revenue and Leeton's share of this would be one third or $16,000," Leeton shire's general manager Jackie Kruger said.
"However with services now reduced to two per week, the actual number of passengers and therefore the head tax revenue will be significantly reduced. This means Leeton's share of foregone revenue will be significantly less than $16,000, a relatively small amount to forego to ensure the continuation of RPT services into Narrandera-Leeton Airport."
While this may the case, the NSW Labor has called on the government to commit to measures to "save regional air travel".
Opposition spokesman for regional transport David Harris said there were many council-run regional airports across the state.
"Regional air travel provides an invaluable service and contribution to the well-being of regional and remote communities across NSW," Mr Harris said.
"We must ensure they are not left isolated in the long-term."
It is a sentiment Mrs Kruger agrees with, saying the Narrandera-Leeton Airport is a vital cog for many reasons.
"Any funding support from government will be welcomed and will be critical in ensuring continuing RPT services provided by Rex into the airport," she said.
"The provision of regular RPT services is a crucial service for business and domestic travellers alike, including those traveling to medical appointments in Sydney.
"The ability of a regional airline such as Rex to continue utilizing the airport is fundamentally important to maintaining the integrity of essential services provided through both Leeton and Narrandera commercial and government sectors."
Mrs Kruger said maintaining the viability of Rex was also critical in the scenario where Leeton and Narrandera are looking future potential development at the airport, involving the Rex Group.
"Such development will be a significant economic development boost for both centres," she said.
"We strongly encourage those residents who need to undertake essential travel to support Rex Airlines."