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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 72

Question No. 18

Mr Rocher asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 3 May 1983:

(1) Will the capital costs of facilities being provided, or to be provided, at Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth International Airports be recoverable in whole or in part from fares to be paid by air travellers on domestic routes.

(2) Will increased operational costs add to the price of domestic air travel.

(3) What is the estimated loading on domestic air fares as a result of (a) capital costs incurred, or to be incurred, and (b) increased operating costs.

(4) Will any increases in domestic fares arising out of increased capital or operating costs be confined to travellers using the new facilities.

Mr Beazley —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Facilities at Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth Airports are provided for the use of international and domestic operators. As costs recoverable from particular sectors of the industry are determined on the basis of usage, part of the costs of these facilities will be recoverable from the domestic sectors, including domestic airlines. The extent to which any resulting increase in costs are absorbed by the airlines or sought to be recovered through fares is a matter for the operators.

(2) and (3) The Independent Air Fares Committee (IAFC) is presently the sole Commonwealth authority able to determine and approve air fares.

The extent to which increases in Commonwealth charges are reflected in air fares is a matter for that Committee to determine in response to an application from an airline. Air navigation charges, for example, are estimated to account for only 4-5 per cent of total airline costs for the domestic trunk operators and slightly less for regional operators. Accordingly, increases in ANCs have only a very slight impact on fares.

(4) No. Air Navigation Charges (ANCs) and fuel excise paid by domestic operators are used to recover the costs incurred by the Commonwealth in providing, operating and maintaining the aviation infrastructure as a whole. The costs to be recovered from individual sectors of the industry are determined on a network wide basis, and accordingly charges are set on this basis. As a result any increase in aviation infrastructure costs which is passed on in fares is ultimately borne by all travellers on the network.