The Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) and the Australian Airports Association (AAA) have welcomed policies announced by the Coalition ahead of the federal election as being constructive advances in the relationship between industry and government.
The RAAA in a statement said the policies “are a good start and show that the Coalition has at least been listening to industry concerns, concerns that have been shared with the Shadow Minister over a number of years.”
A proposed high-level review of all the government aviation agencies is supported.
“The new policies are light on funding but we are willing to work with any incoming government to help them trim the bloated bureaucracies, encourage further efficiencies and have the industry climbing again,” said Jeff Boyd, RAAA chairman.
“The return of a subsidy scheme for enroute charges to encourage the survival of marginal routes is welcomed by the regional aviation industry. It is $2.5 million less than an earlier scheme but better than nothing, which has been the case since July 2012.
“Australia sits on the southern edge of the world’s fastest growing aviation market. With the right government policy settings Australian aviation could again be a major aviation industry player, domestically and internationally. This will require a strong industry/government partnership and a real commitment to listen and work together.
Meanwhile, CEO of the AAA, Caroline Wilkie has said the airport sector has welcomed a proposed halt to passenger movement charge increases.
Wilkie said the Coalition’s Policy for Tourism has recognised the vital role of international tourists in supporting the visitor economy through a commitment to not increase the Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) in the first term of government and the need to promote aviation liberalisation.
“The Passenger Movement Charge has been increased twice since 2007 with no appropriate research being undertaken about its impact on the travelling public,” Wilkie said.
“As a country we need to do all that we can to encourage an increase in visitors to our shores. These visitors contribute significantly to Australia’s bottom line.
“The airport sector also particularly welcomes the Coalition’s commitment to look at Australia’s bilateral framework with the intent of promoting greater liberalisation of air services.
“Such liberalisation would ensure Australia has the necessary capacity to meet future demand in aviation and meet ambitious tourism targets.
“An open dialogue to promote greater access to key markets is welcomed,” Wilkie added.