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Federal Government Support for Regional Air Services

John Anderson

Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Transport and Regional Services
Leader of the National Party


14th May 2002

The Federal Government will provide $13 million in 2002-03 to support regional air services and general aviation, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.

The funding is separate to the support that the Government has provided regional airlines under the Rapid Route Recovery Scheme since the grounding of Ansett.

"The Government recognises the importance of air services to regional communities, and the 2002-03 Budget continues two important measures to assist regional airlines and general aviation operators," Mr Anderson said.

"We will continue to subsidise regional airlines for the enroute charges imposed by Airservices Australia, which will save the industry $6.0 million in 2002-03. One regional airline is saving over $16,000 per week as a result of our support.

"The payment scheme applies to all regional airline aircraft and aeromedical aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of fifteen tonnes or less, and was a key initiative in the Coalition's transport action plan, which I released during the election campaign. It came into effect on 1 January 2002.

"The Government will spend $7 million in 2002-03 to help Airservices Australia provide reasonably priced tower services at regional and general aviation airports. These airports handle 1.5 million passengers a year and are an essential part of the national air transport system.

"We will continue to subsidise tower services at Albury, Coffs Harbour, Launceston, Hobart, Mackay, Maroochydore, Rockhampton, Tamworth, Archerfield, Bankstown, Camden, Jandakot, Moorabbin, Parafield and Essendon. The tower charges at these airports will continue to be $7.42 per landed tonne (including GST), even though the actual cost of running the towers is much higher.

"In addition, Airservices will continue to cap charges for general aviation users at Cairns, Coolangatta, and Canberra," Mr Anderson said.

Media contact: Paul Chamberlin 02 62777680