Today I announced the Federal Labor Government will sign up to the Cape Town Convention which will provide Australian airlines with access to lower cost finance for aircraft purchases.
Once the convention is in place, Australian airlines of all sizes will be able to access cheaper finance when purchasing aircraft, jet engines or helicopters.
It is estimated that airlines could save in the order of $2.5 million on the purchase of a new Airbus A380 and airlines operating smaller aircraft could save around $330,000 on the purchase of a new ATR72 aircraft.
Discount financing will also be available for purchases of second hand aircraft which will help smaller regional airlines upgrade and maintain their fleet.
Changes in 2011 to the Aircraft Sector Understanding mean financing discounts now apply to a wider range of aircraft, including turbo-propeller aircraft which had been previously excluded.
Together, these changes will help renew the Australian fleet and replace older models with newer, more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft.
As a first step, the Government will table the Cape Town Treaty in Parliament later this month. The Department of Infrastructure and Transport will then work with the Attorney General’s Department and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to bring the treaty into domestic law in 2014.
Today’s announcement builds on the Government’s earlier agreement to extend existing Tripartite Deeds to all 21 Federal leased airports to support their access to the funds they need to invest in modern and high quality airport infrastructure to meet growing demand for air services.
When it comes to aviation, a safe, secure and efficient system is the Federal Labor Government’s top priority. Our continued commitment will ensure millions of Australians who take to the skies every year will fly in greater safety and comfort.