The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has blocked plans by Sydney Airport to raise terminal and parking charges for intra New South Wales air services which utilise Terminal 2.
“Although Sydney Airport’s charges for regional airlines have not increased since 2001, there has been strong growth in demand, particularly in the number of passengers. This has had the effect of increasing Sydney Airport’s revenues,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said. “Sydney Airport has not satisfied the ACCC that the costs of providing services to regional airlines have increased to the extent that a price increase is required.
Sydney Airport had been seeking to increase regional aeronautical fees by 2.9 per cent, which it says amounted to an increase of 22-23 cents per passenger excluding GST. “The failure of the regulatory system to deliver a fee increase after 10 years is disappointing and difficult to comprehend, particularly given that the increase sought was so far below the CPI,” said CEO Russell Balding.
The ACCC decision was welcomed by Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, as well as Regional Express.
“Without this necessary protection, Rex would see itself faced with an annual increase of $3.2m which would certainly mean the closure of half a dozen marginal regional routes and eventually see regional carriers displaced to Bankstown,” Rex’s general manager of network strategy Warrick Lodge said.