Regional Express says it fully supports calls by the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) for the Federal Government to end regional and domestic air service subsidies of international carriers.
In a July 7 statement, the RAAA 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.
“It is grossly unfair for regional and domestic flights to be contributing about $120 million to fund the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) operations in the form of an excise duty on fuel, when a significant portion of CASA’s resources are deployed in overseeing all international flights, including the considerable international operations of Qantas and Virgin Australia, that do not contribute anything to CASA’s funding,” Rex COO Neville Howell said on July 14. “In addition, domestic and regional carriers contributed over $200 million in carbon tax while international flights did not contribute a single cent. Whilst the Abbott Government is taking the right step to abolish the carbon tax, the pain inflicted only on regional and domestic carriers has been totally unfair and extremely punitive.”
Rex said it is calling on the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, to urgently address the inequality of CASA funding by providing an equitable deal for domestic and regional operators.