Armidale Community Petition
Armidale Community Petition
Armidale Regional Council
Petition will be heard Wednesday 22/08/18
Stop the Introduction of Airport Landing Fee's.
Armidale Regional Council has proposed to introduce landing fees at Armidale Regional Airport. The proposed new structure would cost operators $460 a year for each aircraft after the first five (which would be exempt) and the Regional Council expects the extra revenue from landing fees would generate $40,000 a year. The proposal is designed to offset the estimated $500,000 per year ratepayers currently contribute towards the Armidale Regional Airport operation.
The concern however is that the announcement throws into question the commercial viability of several operator’s services to and within the Armidale region, which potentially amounts to:
A reduction of services available to the Armidale Community
A decrease in the economic benefit these providers bring to the community
An increase in the cost of flying that would impact the community at both the individual and business levels
As per the articles linked herein Regional Express have already declared their intent to review the viability of continuing services to Armidale, and other operators such as Fleet Helicopters and Edwards Aviation will similarly review the commercial need to continue operations from Armidale.
With the real risk that these operators would discontinue their services to the Armidale region the desired outcomes of the proposed structure are thrown into question. If operators choose to exit the region:
It is unlikely that the revenue target of $40,000 per year will be reached
Any actual revenue generated would do little to offset the current estimated community contribution of $500,000 per year
Further, as an ancillary outcome there is a real risk of reverting to the previous QantasLink monopoly over the region which would see a lack of competition leading to an increase in the cost of flying. If this eventuates both community businesses and individuals are likely to suffer the effects.
From an economic perspective any increase in flight costs, as well as decrease in available services, would negatively impact the viability of non-airport related businesses by decreasing their ability to operate from the region
A reversion to a QantasLink monopoly is likely to place further strain on individuals within the community as the cost of flying increases
While we aren’t stating these outcomes as outright certainties we do believe the risk alone of operators such as Regional Express exiting the region necessitates that this proposal does not go ahead.
In keeping with the above, we are building a petition list to submit to the Armidale Regional Council to implore, with the weight of the community, that this proposal is not approved.