Commonwealth rules could threaten regional services


(CAPA) Western Australia's Planning and Infrastructure Minister,

Alannah MacTiernan, said the Federal Government’s “inflexible demands”

for regional airports to install new security measures by 01-Dec-07 were “ill-considered

and poorly funded”.

“The Commonwealth has told regional airports to install new security measures by 01-Dec-07 or face the prospect of cancelling services by commercial jet aircraft,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“While the State Government supports the Commonwealth’s new security measures, its demand for regional airports to upgrade their equipment to meet new baggage checking requirements by this date is typical of the Commonwealth’s attitude towards regional WA.

“If the Federal Government carries out its threat to force regional airports to cancel flights this will be a severe blow to WA’s growing tourism and resources industries."

The Minister said that while the Commonwealth would provide funding for the purchase of the security equipment, this would only cover about a third of the total cost.

“Local governments will be left to pick up the rest of bill to ensure that their airports have the necessary building infrastructure in place to house the equipment," she said.

“Ultimately these costs will be borne by the passenger, leading to an increase in airfares.

“The whole approach to upgrading security measures at regional airports has been badly thought through by the Federal Government, and with no apparent concern for the economic consequences of its inflexible December 1, 2007 deadline.”

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