The Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) has called for a better deal for regional operators over how aviation fuel is taxed.
In a July 7 statement, the representative body said over $300 million is raised annually from levies on aviation fuel for domestic flights in Australia, about two-thirds of which it attributed to the carbon tax, and the remaining one-third to funding for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), but it said that all international flights are exempted.
“The CASA fuel levy is an extremely unfair user pays system when you consider that CASA are responsible for all international airlines flying into Australia, Qantas and Virgin international operations, the airports and Airservices Australia, none of whom pay a cent,” RAAA CEO Paul Tyrell said. “This unfair CASA fuel tax means that domestic operations are subsidising major international airlines to the tune of $70m pa which is an unnecessary burden on domestic flights, particularly those operated by small regional airlines that are struggling to survive in the current climate.”
The RAAA said that, while it noted the government had taken action to remove the carbon tax, it called for a fairer deal for regional operators on CASA funding. It said the levy should either be applied to all flights, or removed altogether.