The Australian Airports Association (AAA) today welcomed the news that Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Michael McCormack MP, would take up the key infrastructure and transport portfolio.
AAA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said the infrastructure sector was driving our economy, and it was essential the portfolio was overseen by one of the most senior members of government.
“Our infrastructure connects us to each other and the world, and public policy must support a national network that drives growth and creates opportunity,” Ms Wilkie said.
“The AAA welcomes Minister McCormack’s appointment to the infrastructure and transport portfolio and looks forward to working with him to promote the efficiency and responsiveness of our network.”
Australian airports have invested significantly in aeronautical improvements and enhancing the customer experience, attracting new services to support tourism, facilitate trade and create jobs.
The industry’s success in enabling significant passenger growth over the last 20 years had delivered a range of benefits to the national economy, while also supporting state and regional tourism markets.
The AAA looked forward to engaging with the Minister on airports’ plans for the future, as its members continue to invest in new infrastructure, technology and customer experience improvements to meet growing demand.
“We also look forward to updating the Minister on our Protect Regional Airports campaign, calling for more funding for regional airports to meet budget shortfalls,” Ms Wilkie said.
“With many local councils subsidising essential maintenance and upgrades, we must ensure funding is available to keep our regions connected and thriving.”
A recent AAA survey of 51 regional airports found 40 per cent of respondents expected persistent budget deficits over the next 10 years, even as costs were expected to rise by 38 per cent.