The rate of growth of traffic at Australia’s airports showed cotinued improvement during the 2012/13 financial year, achieving an average four per cent increase. The number of revenue passenger movements recorded by BITRE for the last financial year was 142.8 million, up from million 137.2m in FY 2012. Regional traffic across Australia, however, declined by some 500,000 passengers.
The fastest growing airport was Hobart, which recorded 11.7 per cent growth, followed by the Gold Coast with nine per cent. Cairns, Launceston and Perth were also among the top five growth airports. Rockhampton claimed the top position for domestic growth at 18.5 per cent, followed by Hobart at 10.1 per cent. For international traffic, Adelaide, which gained 14.7 per cent, was trumped by the Gold Coast, which recorded 21.7 per cent growth largely attributable to increased schedules by Jetstar and Air Asia X. This compared with Sydney’s international traffic growth at 5.1 per cent, Melbourne’s five per cent and Brisbane’s 0.6 per cent.
Airports showing decline during the year were headed by Darwin, which lost nearly six per cent in total passenger throughput. The airport suffered a 6.7 per cent reduction in domestic flying and a 12.4 per cent in international traffic, results that are expected to be made up for by Asian and Australian airlines offering increased schedules this season. However, Rockhampton’s regional traffic declined a massive 35.4 per cent during the year on the back of less resource-led traffic, resulting in the airport recording a 5.3 per cent reduction compared with the previous year. Other airports showing decline were Canberra (-4.6 per cent), Townsville (-3.5 per cent) and Newcastle (-1.3 per cent).
Of note, however, was an average 3.7 per cent reduction in regional traffic across Australia’s airports. The aforementioned decrease in regional activity at Rockhampton was experienced across Queensland, with Brisbane Airport showing a sizeable 15.6 per cent reduction, Gold Coast -13.1 per cent, Mackay -33 per cent and Townsville 4.2 per cent. Hamilton Island was the only Queensland airport to show a gain (+10 per cent). However, Darwin experienced a 15 per cent gain in regional traffic, Perth +12.5 per cent and Launceston 12.7 per cent. BITRE showed Hobart with a more than 2,000 per cent increase, mainly attributable to changes in services by Qantas and QantasLink.
The top five airports by volume were Sydney (37.6m), Melbourne (29.5m), Brisbane (21.6m), Perth (12.8m) and Adelaide (7.17m).