Setting the record straight on aviation safety costs

15 July 2014

The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) has today set the record straight regarding the sharing of the costs of aviation safety in Australia in light of recent comment from the Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) and sectors of the regional aviation industry.

“BARA agrees with the RAAA and regional carriers that government charges on aviation companies in Australia – international, domestic and regional – should be levied on a fair and equitable basis”, BARA Executive Director Barry Abrams said.

“But it is not correct to state that international airlines are being subsidised by regional carriers with regard to aviation safety and the administration costs of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) ‘to the tune of over $70million per year’.

“For international airlines in Australia, the vast majority of safety regulation-related costs are incurred in the home country of the airline by the country’s own safety regulator. BARA understands international airline operations are not a significant burden on CASA’s workload or funding”, Mr Abrams said.

“In contrast to the comments from the regional aviation industry, in the case of funding Airservices Australia’s operations, international airlines actually heavily subsidise the provision of regional services. Many regional airport fire stations only recover about 10% of costs, with the balance recovered through excessive charges for fire services at the major international airports.

“The application of ‘user pays’ principles throughout Australian aviation would, in fact, significantly reduce the revenues extracted from international aviation. Unfortunately international aviation is often seen as an easy target to fund other aviation activities in Australia”, Mr Abrams said.

“BARA continues to argue, on behalf of the international airlines, for fair cost recovery principles for services provided across the industry and welcomes participation by the domestic and regional carriers in the debate”, Mr Abrams said.