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Tuesday, 17 August 1993
Page: 71

(Question No. 43)

Senator Bell asked the Minister for Transport and Communications, upon notice, on 4 May 1993:

  (1) What authority do the Federal Airports Corporation (FAC) security personnel have to prevent people meeting airline passengers inside airport terminals.

  (2) Under what authority are FAC security personnel preventing representatives of car rental companies from entering Launceston and Hobart airport terminals.

  (3) What specific instructions relating to car rental representatives have been issued to security personnel at these airports.

  (4) Have these instructions been issued to security personnel at other FAC controlled airports; if so, which airports; if not, why not.

Senator Collins —The answer to the honourable senator's question, based on information provided by the Federal Airports Corporation (FAC), is as follows:

  (1) The Corporation has broad powers to regulate activities of airport users under the authority of the Federal Airports Corporation Act 1986. Provided people are acting lawfully, there is no objection to them meeting airline passengers inside airport terminals. As some terminals are leased, lessees may have their own regulations for users of those terminals.

  (2) Pursuant to Section 9(2)(b) of the FAC Act, the powers of the Corporation extend to granting leases, licences or authorities to use;

  (iii) ". . . . . . an area, a building, or part of a building, at a Federal airport or Federal airport development site for a purpose specified in the lease, licence or authorisation, which purpose may be or include-

  (iv) the selling, for delivery at the airport or development site, or supplying, of any goods or services;

  (v) the carrying on of, or soliciting for, any business;. . . .".

  Under Section 3.1 of the Federal Airports Corporation By-Laws dealing with the Regulation of Trading at Airports it is specifically stated that:

  "A person shall not, at a Federal Airport, either personally, or by his or her servant or agent, or as the servant or agent of another person;

  (a) sell, for delivery at a Federal Airport, or supply, any goods or services;

  (b) carry on, or solicit for, any business; or

  (c) erect, display or distribute any advertisement or public notice;

except in accordance with the conditions of a lease, licence or authorisation granted or given by the Corporation under the Act.

  People meeting airline passengers inside terminals to conduct business transactions for which they do not hold `authorisation' pursuant to Section 9(2)(b) of the FAC Act contravene the Act and are subject to their trading activities being halted subject to Section 3.1 of the FAC By-Laws.

  (3) Security personnel are asked to monitor the contractual obligations of car rental operators inside the terminals and to take notes of any breaches of licence conditions.

  A list of authorised car rental operators is made available to airport security personnel. Where unauthorised operators are found to be on airport, the instruction to airport security is to advise the airport management and request the operator to contact the Operations Manager.

  (4) The instructions, issued at all FAC airports, regarding the issues of policing and monitoring the activity of all operators are simply an extension of the public statement made by the Corporation in its Summary of Car Rental Rights and Obligations issued on the 1 February 1993.

  In essence this statement was that the Corporation would enforce any requirement set out in the car rental agreements and would prevent any person who had not signed an agreement from operating a car rental business at airports.

  In subsequent advice to all airports it was further stated that the value of the rights granted to operators contracting with respective airports must be assessed in light of the degree to which the Corporation is prepared to ensure that contracting parties receive value for money and especially that they are not compromised by activities of operators which are in breach of the FAC Act and FAC By-Laws.

  It was further stated that the means through which policing and monitoring activities were to be conducted would be best left to each airport with the proviso that it is an area in which the Corporation is accountable, and for which the Corporation will need to demonstrate not only the implementation but also the positive effect of the measures introduced.