Regional air services boosted by revival of Enroute Scheme
15 September 2014
Regional airlines and the communities they service will welcome the return of the Australian Government's new Enroute Charges Payment Scheme, which will subsidise navigation charges on low volume air services.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss announced today that the Scheme is now open for applications, which can be back-dated—meaning eligible services flown since 1 July 2014 are able to be considered.
“The Coalition is fulfilling its election promise to restore the Enroute Charges Payment Scheme, supporting vulnerable air routes to regional and remote communities,” Mr Truss said.
“Part of the assistance will go towards additional support for new routes to communities that have no passenger services at all.
“The Government will provide $1 million each year over the next four years to assist scheduled passenger services. This is on top of the $1 million each year allocated to supporting vital aeromedical services, such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
“The new Scheme will provide assistance based on the enroute navigation charges levied by Airservices Australia. For existing routes, assistance will equate to 60 per cent of the enroute charge for an eligible flight, with assistance of 100 per cent of the charge available for new routes for up to three years.
“The Coalition in government is focused on encouraging the growth of regional aviation services across Australia and expanding the current network by giving impetus for operators to test whether a new route can be commercially viable.
“It can take years for new regional routes to establish sufficient support to become viable, which is why we are providing this additional support for up to three years.
“The new Scheme is an important part of our policy to improve services for country people.
“If we want to better connect regional Australia we must better target government support to where it is needed for those start-up and marginal routes. A relatively modest amount of government assistance can make a big difference.”
Mr Truss said airlines can apply for assistance for scheduled passenger services on routes carrying up to 15,000 passengers per year using aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 15 tonnes.
“Priority will be given to routes that link a regional or remote community with its capital city or major regional centre,” Mr Truss said.
“This ensures people have the best possible access to health and other professional services, as well as providing essential links for doing business in regional areas.”
Airlines can submit applications at any time, with guidelines and application forms for the Scheme available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/regional.