Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has joined the AAA to campaign to Protect Regional Airports
ALGA joins the AAA and the Australian Logistics Council, Regional Aviation Association of Australia and Royal Flying Doctor Service in calling for more Federal government funding over the next four years to ensure regional airports remain sustainable.
AAA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie welcomed ALGA’s support.
“Regional airports are the lifeblood of their communities and must be funded appropriately to ensure they continue to deliver essential access for people living and working in our regions,” Ms Wilkie said.
“With many regional airports operated by local councils, we’re delighted to have ALGA’s support for this important campaign.
“Additional funding in the upcoming Federal budget would ensure regional airports can continue to serve the 15 million passengers that use rural and regional airports every year.”
ALGA President David O’Loughlin said many local councils were subsidising essential maintenance and upgrades at their regional airports, relying on ratepayer funds to offset the costs of operating these complex pieces of infrastructure.
“Regional airports provide an essential service to our communities, and must be able to continue to serve the needs of local people safely and efficiently,” Mayor O’Loughlin said.
“This can only be achieved by additional Federal government funding to support our regional airports.
“We urge members of Parliament to ensure our regions aren’t forgotten in the upcoming budget process.”
The Protect Regional Airports campaign calls for dedicated funding in the 2018-19 budget to ensure regional airports can deliver critical aeronautical and infrastructure maintenance projects.
It recommends extending the funding for the existing Remote Airstrip Upgrades Programme for a further four years, at $15 million per year.
It also calls for the creation of a new Regional Airport Development Programme to allow other regional airports to apply for funding, resourced at $25 million per year for four years.
For more information, go to https://airports.asn.au/
About the Protect Regional Airports campaign
More than 15 million passengers fly in and out of regional Australia each year. To continue being a successful and prosperous nation, the back bone of Australia, the regions, need equitable access to markets, health care, exports and produce – all of which are facilitated by regional airports.
The AAA, with support from the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA), Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), are asking the Government to provide all regional airports access to funding to undertake essential infrastructure investment to improve safety and keep our regions connected.
The Protect Regional Airport campaign is designed to raise awareness of the contribution regional airports make to Australia and to encourage the Australian Government to commit to a two-pronged funding proposal.
The proposal is to:
1. Extend and expand the Regional Aviation Access Programme (RAAP) to a $15 million allowing remote communities such as Milyakburra in the NT or Mimili in SA to also benefit; and
2. Develop a new $25 million a year program similar to the RAAP that would allow regional centres like Moruya, Biloela, Manjimup or Cummins to apply for funding.