Mar 19, 2012

Strong growth for regional aviation

Australia’s regional airports have seen strong growth over the past few years with total passenger movements at airports in regional areas growing at a faster rate than airports in major cities.

A new BITRE report has found that passenger numbers at regional airports increased from nearly 17 million to over 22 million between 2005 and 2010.

Most of the growth was from the increase of passengers travelling on regional air routes between major cities and regional areas, which makes up more than 90 per cent of the regional aviation market.

Between 2005 and 2010 the average annual growth rate for passengers at regional airports was six percent compared to 5.7 percent in major cities.

What this shows it that the long-term outlook for regional aviation and operators is very positive, with these figures demonstrating emerging opportunities for operators to expand and grow their businesses.

The industry has consistently shown it can adapt to the growing reliance of Australians on aviation both for business and leisure as well as continuing its important role in delivering vital services to regional communities. 

Strong regional aviation is not just important for regional communities but is also good for Australia.

Other findings include:

  • a small drop in the number of airports serving regional areas from 169 to 148, however the decline has stabilised
  • a slight increase in the number of air routes between regional areas from 234 to 266
  • eight new airlines serving regional passengers bringing it to a total of 28.

I congratulate all of our regional airlines on these good results and look forward to working with them in the future to build on these achievements.

The Air transport service trends in regional Australia report from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics is available at