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New operator for Coolangatta airport.

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Minister for Finance and Administration

The Hon. John Fahey MP


Minister for Transport and RegionalDevelopment

The Hon Mark Vaile MP








We are pleased to announce that, subject to the exec ution of the Sale Agreement, the long term lease for the Coolangatta airport has been awarded to Queensland Airports Limited for the sum of $104.7 million.


Queensland Airports is a consortium comprising Manchester Airport (in the UK), Macquarie Bank, UniS uper Limited, Royal Automobile Club of Queensland and Serco Australia.


Queensland Airports is expected to assume full operational control of the airport following contract completion, scheduled to occur by 30 June 1998.


The Government set a number of sales and ongoing objectives to be met by the winning consortia. Apart from optimising sale proceeds to the Commonwealth financial strength, management capabilities, local participation, development plans. environmental credentials and equitable treatment of FAC employees have all figured in the assessment of the bids


Queensland Airports recognised the importance of relationships with the local community and local government. To this end the company has already consulted closely with the Tweed Heads and Gold Coast Councils about future consultation and cooperation arrangements


Queensland Airports also plans to establish consultative committees covering such issues as the environment and master planning. These groups will comprise representatives of the local community and State and local Government.


Coolangatta Airport's new operator will be subject to for the term of its operating lease a comprehensive regulatory regime that will ensure the public interests fully protected


The Airports Act enacted by the Co mmonwealth Government in 1996 requires an airport operator to submit airport master plans and major development proposals for the approval of the Minister for Transport and Regional Development, following a minimum 90 day ‘public comment' process. This means there can be no development on the airport without the community being fully informed on the impact of the proposals.


Coolangatta Airport will continue to be subject to existing Government controls relating to safety, curfews, security, environmental a ssessment and competition policy. The control of flight paths and air traffic movements remains the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government through Airservices Australia.


Coolangatta Airport is subject to a CPI minus X price cap on its aeronautical charges. The X value for Coolangatta airport has been set at 4.5 for the next five years. This will result in real reductions in aeronautical charges of 20.6% over this period.


20 March 1998


For further information:


David McLachlan, John Fahey's Office, 0419 698 872

Peter Cassuben, Mark Vaile's Office, 0417 980 009