PPPs enabling airports to embrace opportunity
Posted : Monday, September 17, 2012
Long term public private partnerships have enabled our airports
to embrace opportunities in a growing and vibrant aviation sector,
despite times of financial difficulty, Federal Department
of Infrastructure and Transport, Deputy Secretary, Andrew
Wilson told a CEDA forum in Melbourne.
"Unlike other first world countries, Australia is fortunate that
our major airports are well managed under a long term lease by the
private sector," he said.
Under the current regime, Australia's major airports are cost
efficient and highly productive by international standards, he
Since privatisation, he said the rate of investment in our major
airports has been rising, exceeding $600 million per year in
aeronautical infrastructure since 2007.
Mr Wilson said Australia has weathered the many challenges
affecting the aviation sector including:
- The Global Financial Crisis;
- Failure of airlines;
- Volcanic dust clouds; and
- Global security concerns.
Despite this, he told attendees the industry faces three key
- Meeting and funding capacity;
- Balancing urban and aviation development; and
- Managing ongoing development of regulation.
To meet and fund capacity, Mr Wilson emphasised that passenger
demand in the Sydney region is set to double by 2035 to 87 million,
and by 2015, Sydney Airport will be severely constrained at peak
"There are no easy solutions for adding capacity, but it is a
challenge that governments and investors need to be prepared to
take on," he said.
In regard to urban and aviation development, Mr Wilson said the
aviation sector is reflective of growth in the economy and the
population, and with this growth comes the inevitable battle
between social amenity and economic development.
"The ongoing need for urban development in areas near our
airports has the potential to reduce competitiveness and efficiency
of the aviation sector," he said.
Mr Wilson said initiatives have been established to assist in
increasing community involvement in the ongoing development of
airports to provide better linkages with local councils such
- Planning coordination forums;
- Community aviation consultative groups;
- Additional elements in Melbourne Airport's master planning and
major development processes.
On regulation he said: "It is important for industry to work
proactively with the community and government to ensure an
appropriate balance is struck in regulation."
He said while the terrorist threat remains, the aviation
industry will need to continue to operate within strict security
"Empowering industry to develop new or better ways to achieve
the desired security outcome has the potential to improve the
passenger experience and help maintain our airports
competitiveness," he said.
With an estimated contribution of $17.3 billion to GDP and
creating around 115,000 jobs, competitive and productive airports
are vital for Australia's continued economic prosperity, he
Melbourne Airport, CEO, Chris Woodruff said
Melbourne Airport is leading international growth ahead of other
major Australian airports.
Mr Woodruff said international passengers grew by eight per cent
with growth driven by Asia, prominently China, and other Asian
markets including Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan.
Traditional markets such as New Zealand and the US also grew, Mr
"We are Australia's second busiest airport in terms of freight,
accounting for 31 per cent of Australia's total air freight," he
Mr Woodruff said by 2030, we expect around 60 million passengers
to pass through Melbourne Airport every year.
"Our capital expenditure increased by 39 per cent last year to
$200 million," he said.
Mr Woodruff said Melbourne Airport was reinvesting this back
into the airport through new or upgrading existing infrastructure
- Resurfacing both of Melbourne Airport's runways;
- The redevelopment of the international departments retail
- The opening of the Australian Pacific Airport Corporation
(APAC) Drive on-ramp - a new city bound exit to the Tullamarine
- A new domestic terminal - phase one to open in 2014;
- New aircraft parking bays and taxi ways; and
- Upgrades to the airport roads network.
Mr Woodruff said the airport is also taking a detailed look at
public transport links and future needs, including a rapid bus
option and improving bus access for current services as well as
reviewing the Melbourne Airport Rail Link Study.
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