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Friday, April 12, 2024

Regional airports operating at a loss– delegation calls for more funding

Regional airports are crucial not only for local communities but also for the broader health, safety, and security of the nation, including vital functions such as border protection, medical evacuation, defense, and disaster response. These airports serve as essential community assets that must not be allowed to fail. However, a significant portion of Australia’s regional airports, such as those owned by local government councils like Narrandera, are currently facing operational challenges. Approximately 60% of these airports are operating at a loss due to various factors, including aging infrastructure, security costs, high staffing expenses, and an increasing regulatory burden.

To address these challenges, regional mayors and chief executives convened at Parliament House in Canberra to advocate for support for regional airports. Regional Capitals Australia is urging the Federal Government to provide recurring funding to cover regulatory costs, which constitute 12% of total expenditure, as well as funding for essential upgrades to regional airports. Such support is crucial to ensure the continued operation and development of these vital regional assets.

Recently, a delegation from Regional Capitals Australia met with the Hon Catherine King MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government, to underscore the importance of regional airports and advocate for necessary funding. The delegation included mayors and chief executives from various regions across Australia, highlighting the collective effort to secure support for regional airports and ensure their ongoing viability and effectiveness.

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