Chapter 4: Transport

Program 2.4—Air Transport

Highlights

The Department continued to implement more than 130 initiatives detailed in the Australian Government's Aviation White Paper, published in December 2009.

Key achievements in 2012–13 are listed below.

  • The report titled A study of Wilton and RAAF Base Richmond for civil airline operations that examined the economic, employment and social impacts of civil airline services as well as a preliminary environmental assessment of the Wilton area was considered by the Australian Government.
  • The Australian Government's initiatives under the National Airports Safeguarding Framework were implemented including providing assistance to state and territory governments to progress planning and safeguarding initiatives in those jurisdictions.
  • Legislation to increase the liability cap for domestic passengers in the event of an accident and the level of mandatory insurance to be held by air carriers was passed by the Parliament and came into effect in March 2013.
  • Legislation to facilitate Australia's accession to the Cape Town Convention, which will provide Australia with access to lower cost financing for aircraft purchases was passed by the Parliament in May 2013.
  • Updated Australian Government statements' of expectations were established for Airservices Australia, Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).
  • Air traffic management policy was developed, in consultation with other civil and military aviation agencies, including the release of the Western Australian Air Traffic Task Force Report and draft policy paper by the Department of Defence on use of Defence air fields by civil aviation.
  • Enhanced international air service agreements were successfully negotiated with key markets such as the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Vietnam.

Overview

Program 2.4 was delivered through the work of the Aviation and Airports Division with input from the Policy and Research Division, ensuring that the aviation industry operated within a clear and robust safety regulatory environment and by facilitating access to competitive international and domestic air services for Australian businesses and consumers.

Summary of Performance

Tables 4.10 and 4.11 summarise the Department's results in delivering Program 2.4 against the key performance indicators and deliverables and their targets published in the 2012–13 PB Statements.

Table 4.10 Summary of performance—Program 2.4 key performance indicators

Key performance indicator Target Result
Policy advice is influential in the Government's response to current and emerging international and domestic aviation industry issues. Substantial completion of any remaining White Paper initiatives. 12–13 Substantially Achieved 11–12 Substantially Achieved 10–11 Achieved 09–10 Achieved
The December 2009 Aviation White Paper outlined short, medium and long-term initiatives. Of more than 130 initiatives in the White Paper, well over 85 per cent were completed or were substantially underway, with other initiatives in progress.
Aviation regulation, policies and administered items effectively support future investment in safe, efficient and environmentally responsible aviation infrastructure. Ongoing investment in infrastructure by government agencies and industry. 12–13 Achieved 11–12 Achieved 10–11 Achieved 09–10 Achieved
Airservices Australia continued to invest in the $1.0 billion capital expenditure program over the next five years in new and enhanced air traffic and rescue and fire fighting infrastructure and services. The aviation industry continued to invest in aircraft using advanced satellite-based technology.
Access to air services for remote communities is maintained or improved. Funded projects are completed and the Department manages all projects funded by the Government in accordance with contractual requirements. 12–13 Substantially Achieved 11–12 Achieved 10–11 Achieved 09–10 Achieved
The Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme provided 255 remote and isolated communities across 10 geographical regions with access to a regular air service for passengers and goods including medicines, fresh food and educational materials. Air operator contracts managed according to contractual requirements.
Result Key
Achieved All targets for 2012–13 were met or exceeded.
Substantially achieved Targets were mostly met, and any issues are being managed.
Partially achieved Some targets were met, and any issues are being managed.
Not achieved None or minimal progress was made against targets in 2012–13.

Table 4.11 Summary of performance—Program 2.4 deliverables

Deliverable Target Result
Aviation industry operates within a clear and robust regulatory framework. Aviation safety agency governance arrangements operate effectively. Substantial completion of White Paper initiatives. The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport launched the Aviation White Paper in December 2009. Implementation of initiatives began immediately.

Additional funding over four years was allocated in the 2010–11 Budget to CASA, enabling legislation was progressed through the Parliament and new regulations were established.

CASA and the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing continued to complete drafting operational and licensing regulations in 2012–13.
Businesses and consumers have access to competitive international and domestic air services. Agreements which provide increased flexibility and capacity are established, consistent with Government policy. Air services talks with key countries. Air services talks, both face-to-face and by correspondence, with 24 countries resulted in expanded opportunities for airlines to develop new and existing markets.

Discussions continued with the European Commission on a proposed comprehensive air services agreement with the European Union.
Leased airports are regulated in accordance with the Airports Act 1996. Master Plans and Major Development Plans assessed in accordance with legislative requirements and advice provided to Minister. Master and Major Development Plans assessed in accordance with legislative requirements. The Department assessed airport statutory planning documents and provided advice to the Minister in accordance with the requirements of the Airports Act 1996.
Aviation environmental impact on communities including aircraft noise is monitored, to ensure operator compliance with airport curfews; and appropriate noise disclosure in Airport Master Plans. Dispensation reports tabled; compliance with airport curfews; establishment of new regulations to restrict marginally compliant chapter 3 aircraft, continued improvements in aircraft noise information tools. Dispensation reports were tabled for all airports with curfews. Compliance with curfew requirements was monitored and enforced.

The Fort Street property has been insulated under the Adelaide Airport Noise Insulation Program.

The Department continued to monitor noise contours in Sydney and Adelaide annually to ascertain the impact of aircraft noise on residents living around Sydney and Adelaide airports.
Efficient and effective management of administered items. Items are administered in accordance with relevant legislation, published guidelines and ANAO guidance. Refer to specific reports for each program above.
Air access to regional and remote communities is supported. (Payment scheme for Airservices Australia's en route charges and Regional Aviation Access administered items). Costs of airlines providing regular public services to designated remote communities reduced; and cost of air operators providing aeromedical services to regional and remote areas reduced. Safety and access at remote airstrips improved. The Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme funding component under the Regional Aviation Access Program, provided 255 remote and isolated communities across 10 geographical regions with access to a regular air service for passengers and goods including medicines, fresh food and educational materials.

Air operator contracts managed according to contractual requirements.

Assistance was provided to seven aeromedical operators during 2012–13. The Department paid invoices in a timely manner.

Table 4.12 provides a summary of the results achieved by each of the administered items under Program 2.4.

Table 4.12 Summary of performance—Program 2.4 administered items

Administered Item Result
Airport lessee companies—reimbursement of parking fines The Department reimbursed the participating airports an agreed proportion of parking infringement revenue collected and remitted to the Australian Government.
International Civil Aviation Organization—contribution Australia participated in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council during 2012–13, with two employees based in the Montreal office representing Australia in ICAO Council matters and on the ICAO Air Navigation Commission.
Payment scheme for Airservices Australia's en route charges Assistance was provided to seven aeromedical operators during 2012–13. The Department paid invoices in a timely manner.
Regional Aviation Access Funding to upgrade 52 aerodromes in remote locations across Australia was provided under the program in 2012–13. These upgrades will improve safety and access for aircraft operators and passengers, through infrastructure improvements such as:
  • runway sealing, resealing and pavement repairs
  • runway lighting to enable night operations including medical evacuations, and
  • animal-proof perimeter fences.
The 52 airstrips include 45 funded through co-funding arrangements under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade funding component; and seven airstrips at remote Indigenous communities funded under the Remote Aviation Infrastructure Fund component of the Regional Aviation Access Program.
Sydney West Airport—rental properties The Department effectively administered the leases to ensure that the Australian Government met its obligations as a landlord. This included authorising maintenance and paying water and land rates.

Note: The budget and actual expenditure for each administered item is listed in Appendix A.

Detailed Report on Performance

The following report is against the components of Program 2.4 in the 2012–13 PB Statements.

(a) Implementation of a National Aviation Policy White Paper

The Aviation White Paper, Flight Path to the Future, was published on 16 December 2009. In the following 18 months, the majority of more than 130 policy initiatives were implemented, including ongoing ones. Major initiatives completed or substantially progressed include the following.

  • A report on operation of the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group was considered by the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure on 10 May 2013.
  • The National Airports Safeguarding Framework was implemented at a national and jurisdictional level.
  • A self-administered price and quality of service monitoring regime for Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Gold Coast (second-tier) airports was introduced.
  • On 1 July 2012, the Airline Customer Advocate became operational. The advocate provides a mechanism for consumers to have unresolved complaints examined by a third party.
  • In November 2012, the Australian Government released Managing the Carbon Footprint of Australian Aviation, Australia's Action Plan, in response to the ICAO 2010 Assembly Resolution A37-19.
  • On 11 December 2012, the Aviation Legislation Amendment (Liability and Insurance) Act 2012 increased the cap for domestic passenger death or injury on pay-outs from $500,000 to $725,000. The Act came into effect on 31 March 2013.
  • In January 2013, the Australian Government released its response to a review led by the Department of Defence of civil aircraft use of Defence airports.
  • On 10 May, the Australian Government released the technical study into suitability of Wilton as the site for a second Sydney region airport. The study also explored the use of RAAF Base Richmond for limited civil operations.

(b) Joint Study on Aviation Capacity in the Sydney Region

In response to the Joint Study on Aviation Capacity in the Sydney Region, the Australian Government announced it would conduct a detailed analysis of a potential greenfield airport site at Wilton, in Sydney's southwest, as well as explore the consequences of utilising RAAF Base Richmond for limited airline services. The Department commissioned technical experts for this analysis in mid-2012.

This phase of work was completed and on 10 May 2013 the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport released A study of Wilton and RAAF Base Richmond for civil aviation operations.

Based on the report, the Australian Government:

  • sought further clarification around the geotechnical analysis of the Wilton site, and
  • instructed the Department and the Department of Defence to begin detailed planning on the possibility of opening RAAF Base Richmond to civil aviation.

This work was due for completion in the 2013–14 financial year.

The Department will continue to work with key stakeholders, including other Australian Government agencies, the New South Wales Government, local government and the aviation industry to ensure an appropriate level of capacity to meet current and future aviation demands of the Sydney region. This consultation includes a continued focus on ensuring efficient and optimal use of Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport and ensuring integrated solutions that align with the broader strategic and transport planning of Sydney.

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics contributed to this work through updated spatial analysis of the likely employment associated with airports (including average commuting times) which was factored into modelling of anticipated surface transport infrastructure requirements.

(c) Maintaining Aviation Safety

Participation in International Forums

The Department, in conjunction with CASA and Airservices Australia, maintained an office at the ICAO headquarters in Montreal, Canada. The two departmental employees based in Montreal provided strong representation of Australian interests through their roles on the ICAO Council and Air Navigation Commission. The Department administered Australia's annual ICAO contribution.

The Department worked with other portfolio agencies to support Australia's transition to a Continuous Monitoring Approach from the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program, as supported by the ICAO. The Continuous Monitoring Approach was launched on 1 January 2013. Australia is completing the requirements as part of the Continuous Monitoring Approach which includes protocol questions, state aviation activity questionnaire, corrective action plan and electronic filing of differences/compliance checklist. Australia's Air Navigation Commission representative was extensively involved in development of the safety management annex (Annex 19) which combines all safety related matters on safety management systems and state safety programs into a single annex. The Air Navigation Commission representative was extensively involved in developing the Global Air Navigation Plan and the Global Aviation Safety Plan, both of which are to be considered by the 38th Assembly from 24 September to 4 October 2013. Australia's Council Representative, as Chair of the Air Transport Committee, was involved in work on means of reducing emissions by international aviation. A resolution will be considered by the 38th Assembly in September and October 2013. The Department will lead Australia's delegation at the 38th Assembly with representation from the CASA and Airservices Australia.

Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region

The Department took part in projects to assist Australia's neighbours to improve the safety, security and effectiveness of their air transport regulation. This included providing policy, safety and security advisers to Papua New Guinea (PNG) through the Strongim Gavman Program.

In addition to Strongim Gavman Program activities, Australian and PNG transport agencies worked under a memorandum of understanding to improve transport safety and security in PNG. Work is being undertaken in the areas of accident investigation, aviation safety regulation, air traffic management, transport policy and maritime safety.

The Department and Airservices Australia helped build capacity in aviation rescue and fire fighting in PNG. A project funded by AusAID and managed by the Department enabled Airservices Australia to deliver training to senior PNG National Airports Corporation employees with the aim of improving the corporation's strategic approach to maintaining its fire-fighting vehicles.

In May 2007, the Australian Government and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia announced the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package (the package) to address transport safety challenges. For the first phase of the package, the Australian Government provided $23.9 million to support the Indonesian Government to enhance the skills of safety regulators, managers, investigators and air-traffic service providers. In May 2010, the Australian Government committed to a second phase of the package with a further $14.5 million to June 2014. This second phase focuses on technical assistance and capacity building across Indonesia's transport sector, and advising on improved government and safety-management practices to facilitate Indonesia's long-term self-sufficiency in transport safety.

The Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package, managed by the Department's Aviation and Airports Division, is delivered by the Department and its transport portfolio agencies: AMSA, CASA, ATSB and Airservices Australia. Indonesian transport agencies include the Ministry of Transportation, Directorates-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Sea Transportation (DGST), Land Transportation (DGLT), the National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) and the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS). Indonesian airport management and air navigation services are provided by AirNav Indonesia, Angkasa Pura I and Angkasa Pura II (AP I and AP II).

Examples of activities under the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package include:

  • Airservices Australia providing support to DGCA and AP I and AP II on the establishment of a single air navigation service provider
  • CASA working with DGCA to produce a tropical mountainous terrain flying operations training kit
  • AMSA working with DGST to implement non-convention maritime vessel standards including developing the first phase of the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package and contributing to Indonesia's re-election to Category C membership of the International Maritime Organization
  • AMSA working with BASARNAS to improve management of the Cospas-Sarsat distress beacon detection system in Indonesia
  • ATSB working with NTSC to facilitate long-term placements of Indonesian accident investigators within Australian counterpart agencies, and
  • the Department working with DGLT to deliver road safety workshops.

Transport plays an important role in economic development by enabling international investment, providing economic and social opportunities, better accessibility to markets, employment, health care and education. The Department's work with Indonesian transport agencies will help to develop a safe and secure transport network for everyone and is building stronger relationships between Australia and Indonesia.

Aviation Safety Regulation

The Department worked closely with CASA and Airservices Australia on aviation issues and gave strategic policy and governance advice to the Minister on the operations of CASA and Airservices. This advice was consistent with the Civil Aviation Act 1988 and the Air Services Act 1995 and included the updating of Ministerial Statements of Expectation for both agencies and appointment of a new member to the Airservices Board.

The Department assisted CASA and the Office of Parliamentary Counsel Taskforce which is finalising the regulatory reform program covering maintenance, operations and flight crew licensing suites of CASA's regulations. The licensing suite was approved by the Executive Council in February 2013.

The Department will help coordinate a response to the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee inquiry into Airline Accident Investigations in close consultation with relevant agencies.

The Department, through the Aviation Access Working Group, continued to facilitate a forum for sharing information on issues related to access to aviation for passengers with a disability.

There are now over 40 airlines and airports with disability access facilitation plans which provide passengers with disability information on available services and requirements for air travel.

The Department prepared an issues paper on the ‘Two Wheelchair’ policy of some airlines in June 2013 for the Aviation Access Working Group members and other stakeholder comment in June 2013. The Department will consider submissions and comments in preparing advice for the Australian Government in the second half of 2013. Also in the second half of 2013, the Department will work with CASA and the Aviation Access Working Group on advisory material to assist passengers and airlines obtain greater clarity on evidence required to enable the use of assistance animals in the aircraft cabin.

Air Traffic Management

The Department advises the Australian Government on air-traffic management and airspace policy and governance issues, including undertaking initiatives identified in the Aviation White Paper.

In 2012–13, the four major Australian Government agencies involved in aviation policy, regulation and service provision (the Department, Airservices Australia, CASA and the Department of Defence) continued to work on aviation policy issues with cross-agency implications through the Aviation Policy Group and the Aviation Implementation Group.

The Secretary of the Department is Chair of the Aviation Policy Group, with the group's other members being the Chief Executive Officer of Airservices Australia, the Director of Aviation Safety in CASA and the Chief of the Air Force. While the group offers a forum to maintain strong working relationships between the agencies and coordinate joint action where appropriate, each agency retains individual authority and accountability for its own functions at all times.

In 2012–13, the Aviation Policy Group progressed aviation portfolio issues culminating in:

  • completion of the Western Australian Aviation Task Force Report in June 2013 which recommends further improvements to Western Australia air traffic and airspace management
  • Australia playing a significant role in the ICAO Air Navigation Conference in November 2012 including helping draft the next ICAO Global Aviation Navigation Plan for endorsement at the ICAO Assembly meeting in October 2013, and
  • coordinating agency advice on issues including the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast regulatory mandate, the Bureau of Meteorology aerodrome forecast review, the Department of Defence paper on civil use of military airfields and completion of the study of Wilton and RAAF Base Richmond for civil aviation operations.

The Aviation Implementation Group, chaired by the Department and including senior officials from each of the three key government aviation agencies, continued to meet quarterly to develop advice on issues identified by the Aviation Policy Group. The Chair of the Australian Strategic Air Traffic Management Group, the industry advisory group on air traffic management issues, gave the Aviation Implementation Group at its June 2013 meeting an update on priority issues identified by industry for consideration by the Aviation Implementation Group and the Aviation Policy Group in 2013–14.

Case Study

Sydney Aviation Capacity: A Study of Wilton and RAAF Base Richmond for Civil Aviation Operations

In May 2012 the Australian Government considered the Joint Study on Aviation Capacity in the Sydney Region, the most comprehensive analysis of Sydney's current and future aviation needs. The study showed that Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport would continue to be the principal aviation infrastructure in the Sydney region, but its capacity to handle projected growth would be exhausted in two decades resulting in substantial costs to the economy and future productivity and employment.

The Australian Government agreed with the study's findings and decided, among other things, to analyse a potential greenfield airport site at Wilton, in Sydney's south west, and to explore permitting limited airline services into RAAF Base Richmond in Sydney's north west.

In mid-2012 the Sydney Aviation Capacity Taskforce commissioned a series of inter-related studies to examine Wilton as a site for a new airport, and RAAF Richmond for ancillary capacity using the existing airfield and runway.

On 10 May 2013, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport released A study on Wilton and RAAF Base Richmond for civil aviation operations. The report and the technical papers that underpin it are available on the Department of Infrastructure and Transport's website at www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/scopingstudy/index.aspx.

The report shows that a new greenfield airport in the Sydney basin would provide enormous opportunities for stimulating economic activity and creating thousands of new jobs. For example, an airport at Wilton could provide around 40,000 full time jobs by the middle of this century and generate around $20.0 billion in new economic activity.

However, the report was very clear that an airport at Wilton would involve substantial environmental and engineering obstacles. This included significant earthworks (roughly equivalent to those needed for the duplication of the Hume Highway), protection of an important water catchment for Sydney and the impact on dozens of threatened or vulnerable species, including koala habitats.

RAAF Base Richmond was found to be capable of providing additional capacity in the short term for relatively little cost. Its capacity of around 5 million passenger journeys a year, would provide thousands of new jobs and add hundreds of millions of dollars to Sydney's economy and especially its surrounding communities.

Based on the report, the Australian Government:

  • sought further clarification around the geotechnical analysis of the Wilton site, and
  • began discussions and detailed planning on the possibility of opening up RAAF Base Richmond to civil aviation.

The site for a second airport remains one of the Australian Government's most important decisions that will shape the future of Sydney and affect how people and goods move around the city for decades to come. The report on Wilton and Richmond released by the Australian Government in May this year was an important step in delivering the right outcome.

Sydney Aviation Capacity

(d) Expanding Aviation Markets

International Air Services Arrangements

In 2012–13 the Department held air services negotiations with 24 countries in pursuit of expanded rights for Australian and foreign international airlines. Negotiations were with Greece, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Ghana, Paraguay, Sudan, Uruguay, Yemen, Qatar, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Seychelles, Peru, Korea, Belarus and Nepal.

The Department also corresponded with other countries on ongoing airline commercial and treaty matters.

Discussions continued with the European Commission on a proposed comprehensive air services agreement with the European Union. The negotiations covered issues such as market access, protecting the environment, and aviation safety and security. They will expand opportunities for airlines to provide a competitive network of air services.

The Department continued to regulate scheduled international air services in accordance with requirements of the Air Navigation Act 1920 and associated regulations. In 2012–13, the Department granted 360 timetable approvals, 311 timetable variations, 10 non-scheduled flight approvals and eight approvals for new International Airline Licences.

Current Aviation Market

The air services arrangements negotiated by the Department provide capacity entitlements exceeding current demand, giving airlines flexibility to deliver air services in a commercially viable way.

In April 2013, 53 international scheduled airlines operated services to and/or from Australia, including five dedicated freight airlines.

In terms of market uptake, Australia's aviation performance in the year ended April 2013 increased compared with performance in the previous 12 months. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that there were 30.1 million passenger movements into and out of Australia, representing growth of 4.5 per cent compared with the previous 12 months. Of total international passenger movements, 8.3 million passengers were short-term resident departures, an increase of 5.1 per cent, and 6.2 million passengers were short-term visitor arrivals into Australia, an increase of 4.8 per cent.

(e) Managing Airport Infrastructure

Management of Leased Federal Airports

The Department oversees operation of 21 leased federal airports that were privatised between 1997 and 2003 through long-term leases of 50 years with an option to renew for a further 49 years.

The Department is responsible for monitoring compliance with the airport leases, ensuring compliance with the Airports Act 1996 and associated regulations.

Planning Approvals

Under the Airports Act 1996, a master plan must be prepared for every leased federal airport except at Mt Isa and Tennant Creek. The master plan represents the airport-lessee company's planning and development vision for the airport over a 20-year period. The master plan is reviewed every five years and must be subject to public consultation.

A development plan is required for each major development at an airport. Section 89 of the Airports Act 1996 defines major developments as including any significant building work or any development with a significant environmental impact.

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport may approve or refuse a master plan or major development plan.

In 2012–13, the Department gave the Minister assessments in accordance with the requirements of the Airports Act 1996, on:

  • one airport master plan, and
  • four major development plans.

One major development plan was approved subject to conditions relating to management of its impacts and operational considerations. The conditions of ministerial approval attached to each major development plan are available on the Department's website.

At the end of the reporting period, the Department was assessing two major development plans. Details on each, is in Appendix F.

Environmental Management and Building Control

Management of the environment at an airport is the responsibility of the lessee. Through the Airports Act 1996 and the Airports (Environment Protection) Regulations 1997, the Department monitors compliance and regulates activities that may have environmental impacts on the airports. Through the Airports Act 1996 and the Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996, the Department monitors compliance and regulates development at the airports.

The Department has appointed airport environment officers and airport building controllers for each leased airports to monitor and ensure compliance with environmental and building standards.

Lease Compliance Reviews

The Department conducts annual reviews of the 21 leased federal airports to ensure compliance with the terms of their leases. In 2012–13, the Department continued to monitor compliance with obligations under the terms of the head lease, including payments in lieu of land taxes and rates. The Department also assesses the adequacy of airport insurance cover each year, with the assistance of a contracted insurance adviser.

Details of the annual airport lease review meetings and the insurance review for 2012–13 are in Appendix F.

Slot Management at Sydney Airport

The Department oversees slot management at Sydney Airport under the Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997. The objectives are to:

  • provide an effective means of administering the movement limit
  • alleviate delays caused by congestion
  • safeguard access for regional airlines
  • provide equal access to slots for new entrants, and
  • spread aircraft movements more evenly across the day.

During 2012–13 the Department worked with industry stakeholders to develop amendments to the Slot Management Scheme 1998 and the Determination of Sydney Airport Compliance Scheme 1998 to ensure the continued efficiency and effectiveness of this program. The amended Sydney Airport Compliance Scheme 2012 came into effect on 28 October 2012 and the amended Sydney Airport Slot Management Scheme 2013 came into effect on 31 March 2013. In addition, the Department has been working with Airservices Australia and the aviation industry to improve monitoring, reporting and compliance with the maximum movement limit at Sydney Airport.

The Department is monitoring the extent to which objectives of the schemes are being addressed in accordance with the performance measures identified in the following table. The Department is satisfied that the objectives of the schemes are being met.

Table 4.13 Objectives and performance measures of the Sydney Airport Slot Management Legislative Regime

Objective Performance measures
Provide an effective means of administering the movement limit. Airservices Australia movement limit (cap) report provided quarterly.
Alleviate delays caused by congestion. Monitoring of compliance with allocated slots through the Sydney Airport Compliance Committee. Compliance action taken by the committee (warning letters and infringement notices). Annual performance reviews of the Slot Manager. Effective and proactive communication with airline operators about the slots regime through the Kingsford Smith Airport Coordination Committee.
Safeguard access for regional airlines. Statistics of weekly runway movements showing the share of slots allocated to regional operators. Annual performance reviews of the Slot Manager.
Ensure access to slots for new entrants. Annual performance reviews of the Slot Manager.
Reimbursement of Parking Fines

Eight leased federal airports (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Townsville) participate in the Parking Infringement Notices Scheme. The airports administer the vehicle control regime in accordance with the Airports (Control of On-Airport Activities) Regulations 1997. Revenue collected by the airports for parking offences is remitted to the Australian Government and airports are reimbursed, up to a set maximum amount, to partially offset their costs in administering the scheme.

The Department holds bi-annual Parking Infringement Notices Scheme stakeholder meetings to improve communication and relations with the participating airports. The next meeting is scheduled for November 2013.

Protection of the Prescribed Airspace of Leased Airports

The airspace around airports must be protected from obstacles, such as tall buildings, that could affect the safety, regularity and efficiency of operations. A regulatory framework has been established under the Airports Act 1996 and the Airports (Protection of Airspace) Regulations 1996 to assess proposals for activities such as the construction of tall buildings around airports.

The Department assesses applications for activities that will intrude into prescribed airspace based on the opinion of the airport and advice from Airservices Australia and CASA.

The Department protected future air transport operations at Brisbane Airport on completion of the third runway by declaring specified airspace around the airport as prescribed airspace.

Amelioration of the Environmental Impacts of Aircraft Movements
Noise Amelioration Programs

The Department has administered noise amelioration programs at Adelaide and Sydney airports, providing funds to install noise insulation for eligible residences and public buildings under major flight paths. The program for Sydney Airport was completed in January 2010.

The Department will continue to monitor and map the noise contours in Sydney and Adelaide annually and through this has identified a public building in Adelaide as eligible for the program in 2013.

Curfews

To minimise the impact of night-time noise on nearby communities, restrictions on aircraft movements are applied, through legislated curfews, at the Adelaide, Essendon, Gold Coast and Sydney airports. The curfews, which operate between 11pm and 6am, limit the number and type of aircraft that can be operated and stipulate which runways can be used.

In 2012–13, the Department:

  • assessed 76 applications for curfew dispensations-17 for Adelaide, four for Gold Coast (Coolangatta) and 55 for Sydney, and
  • approved 23 curfew dispensations-nine for Adelaide, one for Gold Coast (Coolangatta) and 13 for Sydney.
International Cooperation on Noise and Climate Change

The Department released its plan to manage the Carbon Footprint of Australian Aviation in response to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 2010 Assembly Resolution A37-19 in November 2012. The Action Plan was developed in collaboration with industry and other relevant agencies.

Australia is assisting the ICAO Secretariat to accelerate its work on a global sectoral agreement on climate change action for international aviation. Australia was an active member of a small ICAO council that lead a high-level group formed to advance work on a global strategy to address emissions with a focus on market-based measures.

The Department continued to be active in the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) and attended the CAEP Steering Group meeting held in St Petersburg in July 2012. Australia also participated in the full CAEP meeting in Montreal in February 2013 where new noise stringency standards for aircraft were introduced. The current focus of CAEP work is developing an aircraft CO2 standard.

Community Resources

The Department continued to provide secretariat support to the Sydney Airport Community Forum. The forum is a consultative committee composed of Australian Government, state and local governments, and community representatives, which considers aircraft noise issues.

Management of Properties at Badgerys Creek

The Australian Government owns and leases out commercial and residential properties on a site at Badgerys Creek, New South Wales, originally acquired for a proposed second major airport for Sydney. The Department administered the leases during 2012–13, ensuring the Australian Government met its obligations as a landlord.

National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group

The Australian Government's 2009 Aviation White Paper proposed a national land-use planning framework that would:

  • improve community amenity by minimising aircraft noise-sensitive developments near airports including additional noise metrics and improved noise-disclosure mechanisms, and
  • improve safety outcomes by ensuring aviation safety requirements are recognised in land-use planning through guidelines being adopted by jurisdictions on various safety-related issues.

The National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group comprising Australian Government, state and territory government planning and transport officials, the Department of Defence, CASA, Airservices Australia and the Australian Local Government Association, developed the National Airports Safeguarding Framework.

Australian Government, state and territory government ministers agreed to the framework at a Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure meeting on 18 May 2012. A copy of the framework can be found at: www.infrastructure.gov.au/aviation/environmental/nasf/index.aspx

The framework covers safety issues, such as airspace protection, wildlife management, wind-turbine safety, lighting and building-induced windshear. It also covers amenity issues that could arise when noise-sensitive land uses are approved too close to airports or under flight paths.

On 10 May 2013, the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure ministers accepted a 12-month report on operation of the framework. Ministers noted that all state and territory governments were progressively implementing the framework into their planning, and that the National Airports Safeguarding Advisory Group will continue to monitor and assist this process.

(f) Supporting Sustainable Development

During 2012–13, the Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme subsidised weekly flights to 255 remote communities.

Upgrade works to the higher regular public transport aviation safety standard were completed at seven aerodromes at remote Indigenous communities during 2012–13. These airstrips support Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme services as well as those from health-related services such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and aero-medical providers.

Fifty-seven inspections were undertaken under the Remote Aerodrome Inspection Program during 2012–13.

During 2012–13, the Remote Airstrip Upgrade program provided funding assistance to 45 access and safety upgrade projects.

Case Study

Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package

On March 2007, a Garuda Indonesia Boeing 737 crashed while attempting to land at Yogyakarta airport in central Java. The accident claimed 21 lives, with others receiving serious injuries. Five of those who lost their lives were Australians.

This tragic accident was the start of a new initiative in which Australian transport safety professionals are working closely with their Indonesian counterparts to enhance safety and build additional capacity to meet the challenges facing Indonesia. To this end, in May 2007, the Australian Government and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia announced the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package.

For the first phase of the package, the Australian Government provided $23.9 million to support the Indonesian Government to enhance the skills of safety regulators, managers, investigators and air traffic service providers. In May 2010, the Australian Government announced the program would be extended for a further four years, with additional funding of $14.5 million. This second phase focuses on technical assistance and capacity building across Indonesia's transport sector, and advising on improved government and safety management practices for Indonesia's long-term self-sufficiency in transport safety.

Examples of activities under the package include:

  • establishing a single air navigation service provider
  • producing a tropical mountainous terrain flying operations training kit
  • implementing non-convention maritime vessel standards
  • improving the management of the Cospas-Sarsat distress beacon detection system in Indonesia
  • facilitating long term placements of Indonesian accident investigators within Australian counterpart agencies, and
  • delivering road safety workshops.

Transport plays an important role in economic development by enabling international investment, providing economic and social opportunities, and better accessibility to markets, employment, health care and education. The Department's ongoing cooperation with Indonesian transport agencies will help to develop safe and secure transport networks and is helping build stronger relationships between Australia and Indonesia, in line with the Australian Government's aims under the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.

Indonesia Transport

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Last Updated: 15 April, 2015