Australia’s four biggest airports achieve good quality of service rating

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An aerial view of Perth Airport.

All of Australia’ s biggest four airports have been rated as “ good” by the airlines and passengers that use them {for the first time|initially|the first time} in more than a decade, {a report|a written report|a study} says.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’ s (ACCC) annual Airport Monitoring Report for 2017/18 has found Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports achieved an overall quality of service rating of good.

{Brisbane and Perth|Perth and brisbane} retained their good rating, Melbourne and Sydney lifted their from satisfactory {the previous|the prior} year.

“ For the first time over the last decade, {all four|all} monitored airports were rated as ‘ good’ {for their|for his or her|for} overall quality of service, ” the ACCC report said.

The airports’ overall quality of service ratings comprised responses of both airlines and passengers, as well as objective measures.

The report said passengers rated {all four|all} airports as good.

Meanwhile, only Perth Airport achieved a good rating {from the|from your|through the} airlines for a third straight year, with Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports retaining their satisfactory rating.

“ It is pleasing to see that all four airports have been rated as ‘ good’ in terms of overall {quality of service|service quality}, but there is considerable scope for further improvement, in the service provided to airlines {in particular|particularly|specifically}, ” Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims said {in a|inside a|within a} statement.

Perth Airport chief executive Kevin Brown noted the company had secured new agreements with 23 out of the 24 airlines {that use|apply|involving} the airport.

“ We see that as clear evidence that our airline partners see our pricing as fair and reasonable, ” Brown said {in a|inside a|within a} statement.

“ Their responses to the ACCC also confirm that they believe our service levels continue to improve as we work with them {for a|for any|to get a} better airport.

“ So , they believe {they are|they may be|these are} getting great service {at a|in a|with a} fair price. ”

Brisbane Airport {chief executive|leader} Gert-Jan de Graaff said the airport’ s capital investment – which included $341. 2 million in aeronautical facilities during 2017/18 – had supported the arrival of seven new airlines over the past two years and better facilities for travellers.

“ This could not have been achieved without the significant expansion of the international terminal and investment in systems, facilities and technology that {help to|assist to|assistance to} manage increased demand and improve airline efficiency {and the|as well as the|plus the} passenger experience overall, ” de Graaff said {in a|inside a|within a} statement.

“ Importantly, before any capital project is approved, extensive consultation is undertaken with our airline partners to ensure the timing and type of investment proposed supports their long term commercial objectives as well. ”

A file image of the Brisbane Airport international terminal. (Brisbane Airport)

A file {image of|picture of} the Brisbane Airport international terminal. (Brisbane Airport)

The Airport Monitoring Report said aeronautical profits at Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports grew 6. 2 {per cent|%|percent} to $820. 1 million in 2017/18. Further, margins on aeronautical profits were between 38. 6 {per cent|%|percent} and 49. 3 {per cent|%|percent}.

“ Overall the growth in aeronautical profits at Australia’ s four biggest airports continues apace, ” Sims said.

“ This growth has led to some of the airports {more than|a lot more than|greater than} doubling their profits {over the past|in the last|within the last} decade, even after accounting for inflation. ”

A infographic summary of the ACCC airport monitoring report. (ACCC)

A infographic summary of the ACCC airport monitoring report. (ACCC)

Currently, the Australian Government’ s Productivity Commission is conducting an inquiry {into the|in to the|to the} economic regulation of airports .

The draft report, published in early February, concluded Australia’ s existing regulations of the nation’ s airports benefitted the community and remained fit for purpose .

Further, it said Australia’ s largest airports Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney had not systematically exercised their market power to the detriment of the community.

And while the draft report found there was {no need to|do not need|no requirement to} change to the so-called light-handed regulation Australia’ s airports, it one of the recommendations was for the ACCC to boost monitoring of the country’ s biggest airports.

The Productivity Commission was {due to|because of|as a result of} hold public hearings in Canberra, Melbourne, Mildura and Sydney as part of its inquiry in March.

A file image of Sydney Airport. (Seth JaworskI)

A file {image of|picture of} Sydney Airport. (Seth JaworskI)

The ACCC, along with lobby group Airlines for Australia and New Zealand, had argued for a change to the regulations to allow for independent arbitration {in cases where|in situations where|in instances where} airports and airlines {were unable|were not able} to reach an agreement on aeronautical charges.

Sims said it was an independent arbitration was a “ pragmatic solution for resolving disputes between airports and airlines”.

“ Any party frustrating commercial negotiations would face the threat of an independent arbitrator determining prices and terms of access, ” Sims said.

Australian Airports Association chief executive Caroline Wilkie said the Airport Monitoring Report reinforced the conclusions of the Productivity Commission’ s draft report.

“ It is particularly pleasing that the report indicates {all four|all} airports have achieved {an overall|a general} quality of service rating of good, ” Wilkie said in a statement.

“ {However ,|Nevertheless ,|Yet ,} airports are not complacent and understand there are areas where {they can|they could|they might} continue to improve outcomes for passengers and airlines alike. We look forward to working with all industry stakeholders to achieve those ends. ”

Airline for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) {chief executive|leader} Alison Roberts noted the ACCC had reiterated that price monitoring was not sufficient to constrain the behaviour of companies with significant market power such as airports.

“ {Along with|Together with|In addition to} A4ANZ and regulatory experts, the ACCC has strongly advocated for independent arbitration in cases where airports and airlines cannot agree on the pricing of aeronautical services, ” Dr Roberts said {in a|inside a|within a} statement.

“ As Mr Sims said, it is a pragmatic solution for resolving disputes and creates an effective threat for any party frustrating commercial negotiations. ”

The full report can be read on the ACCC website .

An aerial look at Melbourne Airport. (Lachie Hare)

An aerial look at Melbourne Airport. (Lachie Hare)