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Australian Airport Association disappointed with lack of Support for Regional Airport in Budget
Regional Airport have missed out on a much needed funding boost to combat rising costs and support essential medical transport services in the 2016-17 federal budget, the peak body representing Australia’s Airport says.
While the Commonwealth announced it would tip in $5.3 billion in capital over the next decade to build the proposed Badgerys Creek Airport, Australian Airport Association (AAA) chief executive Caroline Wilkie said there was little cheer for regional Airport, most of which are owned and run by local councils.
In September 2016, the AAA released its Regional Airport Infrastructure Study conducted by ACIL Allen Consulting which found regional Airport faced a significant funding shortfall in the years ahead to maintain existing facilities and upgrade their Airfields to cope with the expected growth in the sector.
The report said expenditures for regional Airport were expected to rise by 38 per cent over the next decade, putting even more pressure on already stretched budgets, with 61 per cent of the nation’s regional Airport running budget deficits in 2014/15.
Moreover, some 40 per cent of regional Airport were expected to record persistent budget deficits over the next 10 years.
Wilkie said the government’s current Regional Airstrip Upgrade program, which provided funding for remote air services subsidies, remote airstrip upgrades and remote aerodrome inspections, could not bridge that gap.
“The remaining funding available in the Remote Airstrip Upgrade (RAU) programme simply isn’t adequate to address the $170 million shortfall in essential aeronautical infrastructure investment in regional Australia,” Wilkie said in a statement.
“Despite compelling evidence about the need for more funding, we are very disappointed the Turnbull Government has not addressed this requirement in the Budget.”
Rockwell Collins Australia produces 100th F-35 DAS optical assembly Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne has joined Rockwell Collins Australia at its facility in Sydney to witness the production of its 100th optical assembly for the electro-optical AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) for the F-35 Lightning II. Rockwell Collins Australia expects to produce more than 7,000 of these assemblies across the life of the Joint Strike Fighter program, representing at least 40 per cent of global production, Minister Pyne said in a statement. Developed by Northrop Grumman, the DAS is a 360-degree situational awareness system that is intended to warn of incoming aircraft and missile threats, as well as providing day/night vision, fire-control capability and precision tracking of friendly Aircraft for tactical manoeuvring.
Virgin is offering one-way direct economy fares online starting at $359 compared with $388 for Qantas Travel time from Canberra will be the same as Qantas at four hours and 40 minutes Flying Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 176 seats. In August and September sitting weeks, Virgin Flights will depart Perth on Thursday and Sunday at12.35pm and arrive in Canberra at 6.25pm. They will depart Canberra at 7pm and arrive in Perth at 9.40pm. Tickets for 2017 are on sale now and 2018 Flights will be available after the parliamentary sitting calendar is released. Virgin also offers direct Flights from Canberra to Adelaide, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney. It's understood that Virgin will monitor passenger numbers and consider additional services based on demand. A spokesman for Canberra Airport welcomed Virgin's new services. "They offer even greater choices for travellers from Canberra and the wider south-east region, and the opportunity to easily access international routes,…