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Tuesday, 28 April 1987
Page: 1943

(Question No. 1678)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 19 March 1987:

Is it the case that the Federal Government is considering abandonment of the recently introduced air navigation charge cost recovery scheme, in favour of a cost recovery scheme based on a levy on aviation fuel.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

A new system of landing charges for all airline aircraft was introduced on 1 July 1986. However these charges are not being applied to general aviation (GA) as the Government accepted a proposal by the general aviation associations for `dual-running' in 1986/87 of the existing system of fixed annual air navigation charges and the new system of movement charges for GA. This allowed time for further consultations between industry and the Department on developing the most appropriate cost recovery and charging arrangements for GA.

As part of the consultation process the Department of Aviation has been discussing with industry representatives, an alternative charging arrangement for general aviation. This alternative incorporates the use of a fuel excise surcharge on Avgas, in conjunction with landing charges for Air Traffic Control and Rescue and Fire Fighting Services at only the major airports owned by the Federal Airports Corporation. Charges for general aviation aircraft are considered appropriate at those airports, since there are alternative airports available to general aviation aircraft at which landing charges for these services will not be levied.

Those GA aircraft which use Avtur would not incur the Avgas surcharge but would pay landing charges on the same basis as the airlines.

The General Aviation associations have indicated that they fully support this alternative proposal and this matter will now be considered by the Government.