The Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) has called on the government to redirect money from the international Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) to support the aviation industry.
In its submission to next year’s Aviation White Paper, the advocacy body for regional aviation said government assistance is needed to help support regional aviation through the transition to net zero, highlighting the pressures from skills shortages and the cost of doing business.
CEO Steven Campbell said members of the regional aviation sector are concerned about the industry’s viability in coming years.
“The cost to introduce new and modern fleets of aircraft is exorbitant at the best of times, let alone with new fuels or propulsion systems,” he said.
“Our members just can’t see how the economics stack up in making this transition, and without government assistance, the move to net zero will only be achieved by having aircraft grounded.
According to Campbell, the PMC brings in over a billion dollars in government revenue per year.
“This money goes straight to consolidated revenue, so in effect is really a tax and should be called that. Part of the PMC revenue should be redirected to support a safe and secure aviation industry which is of benefit to all Australians,” he said.
The PMC was increased in May over the objections of the travel industry, going from $60 to $70 per passenger. In a statement at the time, Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said the PMC increase would fund stronger biosecurity measures.
“To address risks from travellers and parcels, funding from an increase to the Passenger Movement Charge will contribute to the cost of biosecurity, and we will expand cost recovery to include the biosecurity clearance of parcels and non-letter mail,” he said.