Only days before the Federal election, the Coalition has released its aviation policy, which promises to retain subsidies for remote and regional air services, while it will also increase the focus on Australia as a global flying training provider.
While short on detail, the policy included a promise to review the best ways to deploy radar and its use by air traffic control following recent pressure from former CASA chairman Dick Smith. The Coalition would also seek to bolster the checking process for Aviation Security Identification Cards (ASIC), while it will also maintain the En-Route Charges Scheme and Remote Air Service Subsidy Scheme.
One of the largest parts of the policy will include appointing a trade representative who would work alongside the Australian Trade Commission to promote Australia’s pilot training services. Additionally, it would also increase Commonwealth financial assistance for flying training, while it would also revitalise the General Aviation Action Agenda, which was rolled into the Rudd government’s Aviation White Paper.
The policy has been welcomed by the Regional Aviation Association of Australia, which has also attacked the silence from the Labor Party. “The Labor Party’s silence on aviation issues is very discouraging and Australians everywhere, particularly those living in regional and remote areas, should be disappointed that aviation transport issues appear to be confined to areas east of the Blue Mountains,” said RAAA CEO Paul Tyrrell.
Nevertheless, Tyrrell added that the RAAA was looking forward to working with whichever government is elected to further the interests of regional aviation over the coming term.