COVID-19 Recovery Must Focus on Aviation
The Australian Airports Association (AAA) has welcomed the extension of the JobKeeper program to the end of March 2021 saying it will help support thousands of essential aviation positions.
“Aviation was one of the first sectors to be significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be one of the last to fully recover,” AAA Chief Executive James Goodwin said.
“The extension of JobKeeper is welcome and will help support close to 4,000 direct and indirect airport jobs,”
“Airport employees are highly trained, so it is essential we retain those important skills and experience within the sector.”
“Airports have been heavily exposed to the fallout from the pandemic” said Mr Goodwin. “There has been a significant decline in aircraft and passenger movements over the past 6 months, but despite this, airports have remained open to allow repatriation flights and for essential freight and medical flights,”
“They have done this while absorbing the significant fixed costs of operating runways and maintaining safety and security,”
“The airport sector is disappointed that in revising the eligibility criteria, the Government has missed an opportunity to extend JobKeeper to hundreds of skilled airport workers in regional communities,” Mr Goodwin said. Many regional airports are operated by local councils, making them ineligible for JobKeeper.
“Regional airports are the backbone of many communities, so it is important to ensure they are able to maintain essential services, retain their skilled workforce and contribute to the health of regional economies,” Mr Goodwin said.