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NEWS Last modified on October 5, 2011

Tougher regulation threatens to strangle growth of Australian airports

Brisbane Airport’s CFO has warned that attempts to impose tighter economic regulation of Australia’s airports risks future private investment.

Brisbane Airport’s CFO has warned that attempts to impose tighter economic regulation of Australia’s airports risks future private investment.

Speaking to a hearing by the Productivity Commission, which recently launched a review of the economic regulation of airports, Tim Rothwell said lighter regulation, in place since 2002, had been an “unquestionable success.”

“More than $1 billion has been invested by Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) in both aeronautical and non-aeronautical infrastructure between 2002 and 2011. This includes terminal and apron expansions, major new road systems, car parks and other essential infrastructure for the region.

“That’s more than eight times as much as was invested in the five years to 2002 when airport charges were regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)."

While regulation of aeronautical charges has been in place at Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra, Darwin and Melbourne since 2002, a review by the committee was launched into the practice a highly critical report of Sydney Airport by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last year, which found light regulation had led to poor service standards.

The newly appointed chairman of the ACCC, Rod Sims, has also stated he was quoted recently as saying he wants to impose greater regulation on Australia’s airports, right down to car parking charges.

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