Airport probe underway

Airport probe underway

THE Productivity Commission has called for evidence on the market power of Australia’s airport monopolies as it begins its investigation into whether greater regulation is needed at the country’s key gateways.

In an issues paper released yesterday, the commission outlined the terms of reference for its investigation (TD 22 Jun) and highlighted key areas of concern that will be addressed over a 12-month period.

It has called for submissions from interested parties on a range of areas, including airport market power, the potential abuse of power, service quality, commercial negotiations and regional services.

Submissions are due by 03 Sep and a draft report is expected early next year.

The investigation follows concerns expressed by major carriers and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the monopoly power held by the country’s privatised airports.

The representative body Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) has accused airports of reaping excessive profits while failing to provide quality service to carriers and the public, and has called for an end to the current “light-handed” approach to government regulation.

The Productivity Commission says areas it will consider include potentially excessive fees and charges, inefficient operation, low quality services and the manner in which commercial negotiations are conducted.

It will also consider if current ACCC powers are adequate to monitor airport monopolies.

Post-draft submissions and public hearings are planned in Mar and a final report to the Federal Government is due in Jun.

Source: traveldaily