Industry Calls for Change in Airport Regulatory Framework in Australia

© Kurt Ams

The largest Airports in Australia and their regulatory operations have come under scrutiny as industry groups demand an arbitration scheme with an appropriate monitoring approach even as the federal government appointed Productivity Commission gives a clean chit to Airport Functioning.

Reform, according to an alliance of airport users, needs to become a reality in airport regulation. In a statement released recently, industry groups like the Board of Airline Representatives in Australia, the Australian Retailers Association, Australian Finance Industry Association, Commercial Passenger Vehicle Association of Australia, Ride Share Drivers Association of Australia, International Air Transport Association and Regional Aviation Association of Australia, as well as the Andrew’s Airport Parking company, participated. They were vocal against the ongoing practices and appalled at the Productivity Commission’s report coming to public in June 2019, which whole heartedly support the present way of functioning.

Many from the group voiced concerned about how the present system does not operate fairly and the report submitted doesn’t deal with the most pressing issues. Board of Airline Representatives in Australia executive director Barry Abrams said the draft report’s recommendation to conduct more monitoring would change little. “We fail to see how a revamped airport monitoring report will deliver any useful improvement. “It will not change the assignment of commercial accountabilities between the airport operators and international airlines, which underpin the problems in airport services we see today,” Abrams said.

International Air Transport Association regional vice president for Asia Pacific Conrad Clifford said that economic regulation at airports of Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney and more have been overlooked for years. this has been tipping the scales in the favor of the airports. “With the aviation industry being an important economic contributor, supporting over 700,000 Australian jobs, and contributing $69 billion or 5.5 per cent of the country’s GDP, the Australian government needs to put in place policies that support the sustainable development of the industry and its contributions to the Australian economy,” International Air Transport Association regional vice president for Asia Pacific Conrad Clifford said.

However, the Australian Airports Association (AAA) agreed with the productivity commissions report and also stated that no changes are required as the operations are rendering positive results for the community and industry.