The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) will partner with the Australian Airports Association (AAA) on the Protect Regional Airports campaign.
ALGA will join the AAA and the Australian Logistics Council, Regional Aviation Association of Australia and Royal Flying Doctor Service in calling for more Federal Government funding over the next four years to ensure regional airports remain sustainable.
AAA Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Wilkie, welcomed ALGA’s support.
“Regional airports are the lifeblood of their communities and must be funded appropriately to ensure they continue to deliver essential access for people living and working in our regions,” Ms Wilkie said.
“With many regional airports operated by local councils, we’re delighted to have ALGA’s support for this important campaign.
“Additional funding in the upcoming Federal Budget would ensure regional airports can continue to serve the 15 million passengers that use rural and regional airports every year.”
ALGA President, David O’Loughlin, said many local councils were subsidising essential maintenance and upgrades at their regional airports, relying on ratepayer funds to offset the costs of operating these complex pieces of infrastructure.
“Regional airports provide an essential service to our communities, and must be able to continue to serve the needs of local people safely and efficiently,” Mr O’Loughlin said.
“This can only be achieved by additional Federal Government funding to support our regional airports.
“We urge members of Parliament to ensure our regions aren’t forgotten in the upcoming budget process.”
The Protect Regional Airports campaign calls for dedicated funding in the 2018-19 budget to ensure regional airports can deliver critical aeronautical and infrastructure maintenance projects.
It recommends extending the funding for the existing Remote Airstrip Upgrades Program for a further four years, at $15 million per year. It also calls for the creation of a new Regional Airport Development Program to allow other regional airports to apply for funding, resourced at $25 million per year for four years.