Jun 2, 2010

Securing Regional Airlines’ access to Sydney Airport

Securing Regional Airlines’ access to Sydney Airport

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

June 02 2010

The Rudd Labor Government has taken action to make sure that regional airlines continue to have reasonable access to Sydney Airport, which is a vital transport hub for regional communities.

Today, the Government has issued a new Declaration and Direction under the Trade Practices Act 1974 to secure access for regional airlines and reasonable pricing at Sydney Airport.

This will mean that Sydney Airport cannot increase its charges for regional airlines above the Consumer Price Index.

Further, Sydney Airport will be required to notify the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) of all proposed increases for regional airlines.

The Government has delivered on yet another initiative in our national aviation policy which was released in December last year to provide a roadmap for future growth and development of Australian aviation industry.

Our decision will benefit passengers on those airlines that already use Sydney Airport – Regional Express (Rex), Qantaslink and Aeropelican as well as other regional airlines in the future.

In the 12 months to March, nearly 31,000 regional airline flights flew into and out of Sydney Airport, carrying almost one million passengers.

Sydney Airport is an important transport hub for regional Australians, connecting them to the wider domestic and international airline networks.

It is also vital for those coming to Sydney to do business or access health, education and other essential services or for employment opportunities.

Sydney is the only Australian airport with a cap on hourly runway movements and a demand management scheme to allocate the limited number of runway slots.

Without government action to cap prices and protect regional slots, smaller regional airlines would suffer as commercial pressures tend to favour the use of larger aircraft which service domestic trunk routes and international services.

The Declaration and Direction extends the regime that commenced in 2002 and will operate from July 1, 2010 until June 30, 2013.