Australian airport regulations once again in focus

Australian Airports are again in conflict with the
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), with the incoming ACCC
chairman making a speech singling out the airports as a particular focus of

Press reports from quote Rod Sims, the ACCC
chairman, as proposing greater regulation over the services provided by the
privately owned airports, giving it power to arbitrate the final access
contracts between airlines and airports. Some of the measures suggested by Sims
include making space inside airport grounds for competing parking companies and
lowering the fees that bus companies pay to access passengers at the terminals.

According to Airport World, Tim Rothwell (Brisbane
Airport CFO), warned that the attempts to impose tighter regulation would risk
future private investment.

Rothwell cited the success of the Brisbane Airport
Corporation, including investments in aeronautical and non-aeronautical
infrastructure, terminal and apron expansions, major new road systems, car
parks and other infrastructure for the region, as evidence that the lighter
regulations, in place since 2002, led to a better end result for the airports
and consumers alike.

The recent release of the Productivity Commission
draft report, ‘Economic Regulation of Airport Services’, further supports the
performance of the airports, with the Australian Airports Association saying
that it confirmed there was little need to monitor the nation’s airports more

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