Airport investment driving sector growth and passenger convenience

AAA ACCC report Productivity Commission airport monitoring economic regulation

The Australian Airports Association (AAA) has welcomed the 2017-18 ACCC airport monitoring report, saying its key findings show airport investment is driving growth and delivering better facilities.

AAA Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Wilkie, said the report validates the recent findings of the Productivity Commission’s draft report on the economic regulation of airports.

The report found that the monitored airports are not abusing market power in car parking and aeronautical services to the detriment of the community.

“It is particularly pleasing that the report indicates all four airports have achieved an overall quality of service rating of ‘good’,” Ms Wilkie said.

“This shows that the years of investment in technology and infrastructure by our major airports is bearing fruit for passengers and airlines alike.”

The ACCC report covered Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports.

“This year’s report confirms that airports have invested in providing more choice and convenience for passengers as they’ve expanded international capacity, improved services and facilities and facilitated a wide range of options for getting to the airport,” Ms Wilkie said.

“Private investment is helping to grow tourism and trade for the benefit of our economy and community, and supports the Productivity Commission’s draft finding that the current regulatory approach is fit for purpose.”

Ms Wilkie said that aeronautical profitability remains consistent with previous years based on the Productivity Commission’s preferred measure of return on assets.

“It is also pleasing that the ACCC has endorsed the AAA’s view that increasing revenues per passenger are related to a changing mix of international and domestic passengers as well as investment outcomes.”

The report also found car parking operating profits had fallen at three of the four monitored airports as they invested in facilitating a wide range of transport options for people travelling to the airport.

Up to 47 per cent of visitors using paid parking booked online, where discounts were available. Airports also made available free pick up and drop off areas for airport visitors.

“In some cases, online booking for car parking offered discounts of up to 46 per cent, making this a great option for passengers as they plan their journey to the airport,” Ms Wilkie said.

Ms Wilkie said it was pleasing to see airports’ investment in dedicated pick up and drop off zones for users of rideshare services had led to increasing demand for these options.

“However, airports are not complacent and understand there are areas where they can continue to improve outcomes for passengers and airlines alike. We look forward to working with all industry stakeholders to achieve those ends.”

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