AAA welcomes government focus on regional aviation

 

The Australian Airports Association (AAA) has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to develop a dedicated Regional Aviation Policy statement to support the growth of regional Australia.

AAA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said the airport industry looked forward to engaging with government as part of the process to ensure a vibrant and sustainable regional aviation network for years to come.

She said it was important the policy statement heeded the recommendations of the recent senate committee report on regional airfares.

“It is good to see the Government recognise the importance of aviation in building regional economies and communities,” Ms Wilkie said.

“The Government has acknowledged the significant benefits affordable access to air travel can deliver for regional communities.

“A dedicated policy statement will shine a light on the contribution of regional aviation to local communities and ensure we have the right policy settings to ensure the industry’s bright future.

“We look forward to working together with government and industry as the policy statement is developed.”

Ms Wilkie said the policy statement must also address the very real and unique challenges faced by the industry in the regions.

While regional airports were struggling to meet rising costs of compliance, they continued to be the lifeblood of their communities.

However, Ms Wilkie said concerns about high regional airfares had been raised repeatedly by local residents, and addressing this very real and tangible issue must be a priority.

“It’s no secret that regional Australians are struggling with the cost of air travel to connect them to their nearest city and regional centres,” Ms Wilkie said.

“Any policy statement must consider measures to address domestic airlines’ high regional airfares and the impact their pricing decisions have on families, businesses and communities in the regions.”

ENDS

29 October 2019

 

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