Government responds to regional aviation report

The Australian Government has responded to the Senate Committee report on the operation, regulation and funding of regional air services – noting or accepting all nine committee recommendations.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Government was already taking significant steps to support affordable and accessible air services for regional Australia.

“The Government’s $100 million Regional Airports Program is currently open for applications, which will provide funding assistance to owners of regional airports to undertake access and safety works and support for commercial airport developments through the Building Better Regions Fund,” Mr McCormack said.

“Affordable and accessible air services are crucial to our regions’ economic development and delivery of critical services. The issues covered in this report are matters close to the hearts and minds of all Australians, particularly those living in remote, rural and regional Australia.

“I recently announced the Government will be developing a Regional Aviation Policy statement, in consultation with airport and airline operators, other industry stakeholders, state, territory and local governments and local communities, businesses and individuals.

“Together, we will develop a comprehensive plan to ensure regional aviation remains vibrant, competitive and viable into the future, taking into account the unique challenges and opportunities facing people and business in regional Australia.

“I thank the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee for its report, as well as all those who participated in the public hearings, entered submissions or in some way participated in the inquiry.”

The Australian Government expects to release a Regional Aviation Policy statement Issues Paper to canvass the views of stakeholders in the coming weeks. In the meantime, further details can be found at www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/regional/aviation-policy

Alternatively, you can register your interest and ensure you are provided with a copy of the Issues Paper when it is released by emailing regionalaviationpolicystatement@infrastructure.gov.au.