Dec 9, 2009

International aviation opportunities for regional airports

International aviation opportunities for regional airports

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

December 9 2009

The Rudd Labor Government has today announced new measures to help make Australia’s regional international airports such as Cairns, Broome and Darwin even more attractive ports of call for international airlines and tourists.

The Government will offer foreign airlines greater access to our four major gateway destinations of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth for flights that make stopovers in regional airports.

For example, if a foreign airline operated a flight to Sydney via Cairns, this flight would not be counted against the capacity entitlement for Sydney of that airline’s government within reasonable limits.

In addition, we will also offer foreign airlines the right to operate from regional international airports into nearby countries such as New Zealand and the island nations of the Pacific.

While Australia already offers foreign airlines unlimited access to our regional airports, more needs to be done to encourage the take up of these rights.

This is about improving the commercial potential of services to Australia’s regional airports and encouraging tourism and investment into regional economies.

The Rudd Government is determined to do everything we can to showcase regional Australia’s world-class destinations.

The measures announced today will, for example, help support Cathay Pacific existing services between Cairns and Hong Kong, as well as encourage airlines from Korea and China to consider serving Cairns all year-round.

They will also complement the Government’s soon to be released National Long Term Tourism Strategy and the recent announcement from Jetstar that it will increase services between Cairns and Japan from next year.

Today’s announcement will be confirmed in the Rudd Government’s Aviation White Paper, which will be released next week.