Productivity Commission issues regional air service recommendations to the Australian Government

    Australia‘s Productivity Commission released (07-Jun-2019) nine recommendations to the Australian Government of the operation, regulation and funding of air route service delivery to rural, regional and remote communities. Details include:

    • Undertake a standalone, public inquiry into regional domestic airfares;
    • Expand terms of reference in all future reports to include economic regulation of airports as well as investigations into the social and economic impacts of air route supply and airfare pricing on regional Australia;
    • Review the efficacy of Western Australia’s Strategic Airport Asset and Financial Management Framework in 2022;
    • Complete a financial analysis to determine ongoing operational, maintenance and staffing costs of proposed passenger security screening enhancements at regional airports, as announced in the 2018–19 Budget;
    • Financial analysis into the ongoing costs of the provision of security screening at regional airports and consider financial assistance to regional airports identified as requiring security enhancements;
    • Ensure over forward estimates the ongoing operation and funding of the Regional Aviation Access Programme and its component programmes;
    • In conjunction with local councils to review funding of regional and remote aerodrome infrastructure and maintenance to determine if financial support to such aerodromes should be increased;
    • Development of a nationally consistent framework for the tender process, implementation, operation and review of regulated routes in each jurisdiction;
    • Development of a nationally consistent framework to expand access for regional communities to initiatives such as community and compassionate fares, with focus on ‘last minute’ services.