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Vivian Fung reports on the latest news, views and developments from across the busy Asia-Pacific region.

ACI shows supports for Australia’s airports

ACI Asia-Pacific’s regional director, Patti Chau, and ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, recently met with Australian MPs and key Australian airports to counter airline accusations that airports were hindering industry growth.

Accusation number one came from airline group, Airlines for Australian and New Zealand (A4ANZ), which claims that Australian and New Zealand airports are not working on behalf of passengers.

While accusation number two came from IATA in the form of a statement claiming that airport privatisations have not been successful, and that there was a need to step up regulation on airport charges.

In response, ACI told the press that Australia’s light-handed airport regulatory framework has been so successful that it is now considered to be a global role model.

ACI noted that privatisation has been a successful way for airports to secure crucial investment to finance much needed infrastructure improvements.

Indeed, private investment has been a successful option for airports in Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, India and many European countries.

It also confirmed that airport charges relative to other airline costs have remained unchanged for both public and private airports for decades (just under 4%). Furthermore, ACI revealed that airport liberalisation has helped increase choice, foster lower airfares, and passenger growth.

It added that airlines should also recognise that spiralling passenger demand requires airports to invest in more capacity.

Finally, ACI noted that it has a neutral position on airport ownership – repeating the mantra that there is no “one size fits all” model given the large variety of social and economic circumstances.

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