Australian Airports Association (AAA) Chairman Guy Thompson has discussed the key issues facing airports at the Australian Mayoral Aviation Council national conference, highlighting the vital role of local governments in supporting a strong national aviation network.
Mr Thompson outlined the significant economic and tourism benefits airports delivered, but said effective planning, a considered approach to safety and security, and appropriate regional funding was essential to the future strength of the industry
“Local governments know more than most how important airports can be, particularly those located in remote and regional Australia,” Mr Thompson said.
“We must ensure we support successful regional airports as part of our national network, and local government has an important part to play in this.”
Mr Thompson provided an update on safety and security, saying any future changes to aviation security required by government must consider the unique needs of regional airports.
“We all agree that any required changes to our safety and security measures must be implemented effectively, but in the regions this will require funding support,” Mr Thompson said.
“Local governments alone cannot be left to foot the bill for any changes required at regional and remote airports, most of which are owned by councils and often do not generate any profits.
“We know regional airports are doing it tough and have also been campaigning hard to secure more funds for airport improvements and upgrades as part of our Protect Regional Airports campaign.
“The AAA is appreciative of the Australian Local Government Association’s support for the campaign and we welcomed the chance to update some of their members at the conference today.”
Mr Thompson also discussed the importance of local governments in metropolitan areas coordinating with state and federal governments on land use planning issues.
He highlighted the AAA’s support for local government alignment with the National Airport Safeguarding Framework (NASF) and the development of an associated Guideline for Public Safety Zones.
The Australian Mayoral Aviation Council annual conference was held in Perth today.