As Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) moves to more effectively manage heavy peak time congestion, the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) has said plans by BAC to encourage regional operators to use larger aircraft as part of congestion-easing measures are “disingenuous given that the market should determine the size of aircraft for a particular route, not the airport owners.” The RAAA added the move was “in order to maximise airport revenues”.
“As operations at Brisbane Airport increase there will inevitably be pressure from BAC to have the smaller operators removed from the airport in order to maximise the airport’s profit. This has been the case in Sydney for some time to the point where federal government legislation was enacted in order to protect the rights of regional residents to be able to fly into their capital city airport and not be forced to suffer the inconvenience of travelling to a secondary airport,” the RAAA said in a statement.
The association said regional scheduled, FIFO and charter operators have a strong presence at Brisbane airport “and need to remain there”.
The BAC has proposed working with nearby airports in south-east Queensland to help ease congestion in the face of rising traffic volumes that can’t be met by existing infrastructure.
“If a customer lives or works in Brisbane, that is their obvious destination or departure point. Flying regional customers in and out of the Sunshine or Gold Coast is not a viable alternative to Brisbane.
“There is a mixed message to industry in that BAC is planning a new FIFO/charter terminal. This contradicts the CEO’s wish to assist such operations in moving elsewhere. Do they want the new business or not?” the RAAA said, adding: “The RAAA and its members stand ready to work with BAC to ensure that regional operators have a long-term and reasonable access to Brisbane Airport.