Australian Airports Association disappointed with lack of support for regional airports in budget

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Regional airports have missed out on a much needed funding boost to combat rising costs and support essential medical transport services in the 2016-17 federal budget, the peak body representing Australia’s airports says.

While the Commonwealth announced it would tip in $5.3 billion in capital over the next decade to build the proposed Badgerys Creek airport, Australian Airports Association (AAA) chief executive Caroline Wilkie said there was little cheer for regional airports, most of which are owned and run by local councils.

In September 2016, the AAA released its Regional Airport Infrastructure Study conducted by ACIL Allen Consulting which found regional airports faced a significant funding shortfall in the years ahead to maintain existing facilities and upgrade their airfields to cope with the expected growth in the sector.

The report said expenditures for regional airports were expected to rise by 38 per cent over the next decade, putting even more pressure on already stretched budgets, with 61 per cent of the nation’s regional airports running budget deficits in 2014/15.

Moreover, some 40 per cent of regional airports were expected to record persistent budget deficits over the next 10 years.

Wilkie said the government’s current Regional Airstrip Upgrade program, which provided funding for remote air services subsidies, remote airstrip upgrades and remote aerodrome inspections, could not bridge that gap.

“The remaining funding available in the Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) programme simply isn’t adequate to address the $170 million shortfall in essential aeronautical infrastructure investment in regional Australia,” Wilkie said in a statement.

“Despite compelling evidence about the need for more funding, we are very disappointed the Turnbull Government has not addressed this requirement in the Budget.”

Regional airports have missed out on a much needed funding boost to combat rising costs and support essential medical transport services in the 2016-17 federal budget, the peak body representing Australia’s airports says.

While the Commonwealth announced it would tip in $5.3 billion in capital over the next decade to build the proposed Badgerys Creek airport, Australian Airports Association (AAA) chief executive Caroline Wilkie said there was little cheer for regional airports, most of which are owned and run by local councils.

In September 2016, the AAA released its Regional Airport Infrastructure Study conducted by ACIL Allen Consulting which found regional airports faced a significant funding shortfall in the years ahead to maintain existing facilities and upgrade their airfields to cope with the expected growth in the sector.

The report said expenditures for regional airports were expected to rise by 38 per cent over the next decade, putting even more pressure on already stretched budgets, with 61 per cent of the nation’s regional airports running budget deficits in 2014/15.

Moreover, some 40 per cent of regional airports were expected to record persistent budget deficits over the next 10 years.

Wilkie said the government’s current Regional Airstrip Upgrade program, which provided funding for remote air services subsidies, remote airstrip upgrades and remote aerodrome inspections, could not bridge that gap.

“The remaining funding available in the Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) programme simply isn’t adequate to address the $170 million shortfall in essential aeronautical infrastructure investment in regional Australia,” Wilkie said in a statement.

“Despite compelling evidence about the need for more funding, we are very disappointed the Turnbull Government has not addressed this requirement in the Budget.”

 

Source : Australian Aviation

Australian Airports Association to hold Pavements and Lighting forum in Sydney

Australian Airports Association logo. (AAA)

The Australian Airports Association’s (AAA) Pavements and Lighting Forum will be held from May 1-3 in Sydney.

This is the third time the AAA has put on the event, which focuses on pavements and lighting projects and is part of the AAA’s program to provide the airports industry with comprehensive technical training.

Speakers included representatives from regional and major airports, as well as those from industry. There will also be an exhibition area and forum dinner.

“With the ever increasing popularity of the forum we are expecting 250 regional and major airport representatives to attend this specialised event,” AAA chief executive Caroline Wilkie said in the conference program.

The previous two events were held in Brisbane (2013) and Sydney (2015).

More information can be found on the AAA website.

 

Source : Australian Aviation

Australian Airports Association photograph competition closing November 1

Australian Airports Association logo. (AAA)

There is less than two weeks remaining for those working at Australian Airports Association (AAA) member airports to submit their entries for its photograph of the year competition.

Photographs must have been taken after July 1 2015 and of “an object or activity at any airport in Australia”, the AAA said, with “all employees of current financial airport and corporate members of the Australian Airports Association” eligible to enter.

Entries must be submitted by 1700 Tuesday November 1 2016. The competition entry form has further details.

The winners will be announced at the 2016 AAA national conference, to be held in Canberra on 21-25 November. The first prize winner will receive $750, while the second and third prize-winners will receive $500 and $250, respectively.

The national conference will feature speeches from Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Secretary Mike Mrdak, Airservices chief executive Jason Harfield and Chief of Air Force AIRMSHL Leo Davies, among others. There will also be workshops on airport pavement, ground transport and retail.

The AAA airport industry awards will also be handed out at the conference dinner on Novemeber 23.

More details about the conference are available on the AAA website.

 

Australian Aviation

Australian Airports Association calls on government and CPSU to end disruption at airports

SmartGate gives eligible travellers the option to self-process through passport control. (Customs & Border Protection Service)

The Australian Airports Association (AAA) has called for the federal government and union representing the Australian Border Force (ABF) to hammer out a deal that would bring an end to the disruption for international travellers.

ABF staff were due to hold a 24-hour strike starting at midnight on Monday November 9, the latest in a series of work stoppages in recent times as the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) seeks a new enterprise bargaining agreement with the federal government.

The union said that staff in some roles were excluded from strike action to protect national security, a practice that has been in place for previous work stoppages.

AAA chief executive Caroline Wilkie said the proposed strike action on November 9 had the potential to cause significant delays.

“It is imperative that all of the parties get back to the bargaining process and put an end to the ongoing industrial action that is affecting the operation of our international aviation gateways,” Wilkie said in a statement.

“Our international airports are a vital part of our national economic infrastructure, supporting the movement of tens of thousands of passengers each day. Disruption or delay in the processing of arriving and departing passengers and freight is bad for the economy, and bad for Australia’s reputation as a global destination for leisure and business travel.”

Wilkie called on the federal government and the CPSU to “stop using the travelling public as the pawns in their workplace relations contest”, and focus on securing an outcome that would end the industrial action at Australia’s airports.

“While the industrial action being taken by the CPSU and the Department’s employer response may be allowed under the Fair Work Act, it is clearly not in the interests of the travelling public, airlines or airport operators who have to deal with the consequences of disruption to passenger and freight processing,” Wilkie said.

The ABF said in a statement on October 30 it had issued “no work, no pay” notices to staff, meaning those staff who walk off the job during the strike action will not be paid.

“Whilst the notices are addressed to all employees, they primarily affect a number of work areas where the work bans proposed have an unacceptable impact on work procedures and outcomes,” the ABF said.

“We have a responsibility to continue to operate during any periods of protected action, and will put contingencies in place to protect Australia’s border and manage the movement of people and goods across it.

“This will include employees supporting from other areas.”

 

 

Australian Aviation

Australian Airports Association names Guy Thompson new chairman

The Australian Airports Association has named Guy Thompson as its new national chairman.

Currently AAA deputy chairman and Perth Airport executive general manager for assets and capital works, Thompson will officially become chairman at the association’s annual general meeting in Hobart on October 14.

He succeeds Stephen Goodwin, who announced he was stepping down as chairman in July, after five years in the role.

Thompson is also chairman of the AAA’s Western Australian division.

The AAA made the announcement of a new chairman in its monthly Airport Alert newsletter published on Friday.

The association’s national conference will be held in Hobart on October 12-16.

 

Australian Aviation

Australian Airports Association welcomes strong corporate support

Australian Airports Association (AAA) chief executive Caroline Wilkie has welcomed the ongoing support of the corporate sector over the past 12 months.

The association, which represents about 260 airports around the country from the major international gateways to smaller rural airstrips, said on Wednesday it ended 2014/15 with 130 corporate members.

The AAA said corporate membership had grown 83 per cent over the past four years.

“Our corporate members are active participants in our industry working groups and state divisions,” Wilkie said in a statement.

“A strong corporate membership base provides our members with invaluable access to worldwide airport experience, technical capabilities and industry knowledge.”

The AAA national conference will be held in Hobart on October 12-16 and Wilkie said she was expecting a strong turnout from corporate exhibitors at the event.

“The exhibition area at recent AAA national conferences has been sold out and a highlight for conference participants, confirming that our airport operators and their business partners have a lot to talk about,” she said.

Australian Aviation

Australian Airports Association welcomes strong corporate support

Australian Airports Association logo. (AAA)Australian Airports Association (AAA) chief executive Caroline Wilkie has welcomed the ongoing support of the corporate sector over the past 12 months.

The association, which represents about 260 airports around the country from the major international gateways to smaller rural airstrips, said on Wednesday it ended 2014/15 with 130 corporate members.

The AAA said corporate membership had grown 83 per cent over the past four years.

“Our corporate members are active participants in our industry working groups and state divisions,” Wilkie said in a statement.

“A strong corporate membership base provides our members with invaluable access to worldwide airport experience, technical capabilities and industry knowledge.”

The AAA national conference will be held in Hobart on October 12-16 and Wilkie said she was expecting a strong turnout from corporate exhibitors at the event.

“The exhibition area at recent AAA national conferences has been sold out and a highlight for conference participants, confirming that our airport operators and their business partners have a lot to talk about,” Wilkie said.

 

Australian Aviation

Australian Airports Association chief executive receives contract extension

Australian Airports Association logo. (AAA)

Australian Airports Association (AAA) chief executive Caroline Wilkie will lead the organisation for at least two more years after receiving a contract extension.

AAA national chairman Stephen Goodwin announced the contract extension in the association’s March 27 Airport Alert newsletter.

“I am pleased to advise that our CEO Caroline Wilkie has been offered and accepted an extension to her current contract that will see her lead the AAA until October 2017,” Goodwin said.

“Since January 2011 under Caroline’s leadership, we have seen the association grow from a good association representing airport issues in various areas, to the peak airport related association in the country, representing over 260 airport members and 120 corporate members.”

“I look forward to the next phase of growth for the association with new initiatives in the education, advocacy and airport planning, which Caroline and her team will lead.”

Goodwin noted the AAA had under Wilkie’s leadership had increased advocacy and lobbying on behalf of industry, which had delivered “practical positive outcomes for how we run our businesses”.

The next AAA event is the Airfield Pavements and Lighting Forum, to be held in Sydney over two days starting April 30.

 

Australian Aviation