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RAAA joins alliance to push case for regional aviation

written by Jake Nelson | March 22, 2023

Australia’s peak body for regional aviation has teamed up with other organisations to push for more attention on regional Australia.

The Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) is one of more than 30 peak bodies that has joined the Regional Australia Institute’s (RAI) National Alliance for Regionalisation, which aims to better position the regions for future growth.

“It’s no use hoping people will just move to the regions – we need better housing, education, health care, and of course, air services for vital connectivity,” said RAAA CEO Steven Campbell, who hopes to see critical skills shortages in regional aviation alleviated.

“With congestion in the cities just getting worse each year and house prices soaring, we need initiatives like this one from the RAI to focus government on making decisions today to alleviate the strain on our cities tomorrow.”


Campbell has pointed to a report from the US Regional Airlines Association on regional pilot shortages, which showed 324 regional American airports have lost a third of their service on average, with more than 50 losing over half of their air service and 14 losing air service entirely.

“This is just around the corner for us here in Australia, which is being exacerbated by a critical shortage in aircraft maintenance engineers,” he said.

“We can’t just expect people to move to the regions, so I am pleased that the private sector is doing its bit to push this agenda to the top of the priority list for the current government.”

According to RAI CEO Liz Ritchie, the alliance – which brings together business, health, education, infrastructure and environment peak bodies – aims to address challenges such as workforce and education shortfalls in the regions.

“Regional Australia remains the engine room of our national economy – but it’s not firing on all cylinders,” she said.

“Today’s launch marks a significant milestone for the 9 million people living in our regions. This powerful cohort of leading peak bodies and for-purpose organisation will work to help bring the RAI’s Regionalisation Ambition 2032 to life.”

The RAAA last year urged state and federal governments to incentivise maintenance organisations to employ more engineering apprentices.

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