Airservices has advised its aviation industry customers it will freeze prices for two years until mid-2011, representing a reduction in real terms of between seven and eight per cent.
The Federal government-owned organisation is funded by the industry to provide the nations air navigation, air traffic control and aviation rescue and fire fighting services. CEO Greg Russell said Airservices was able to make the commitment because of a reform and corporate efficiency program which had been underway in the organisation for the past three and a half years. This is the right response for industry in the current challenging economic circumstances, Mr Russell said. Airservices had been consulting with its customers for the past 12 months on a new long-term pricing agreement, to replace existing arrangements which expire in December 2009. Mr Russell said the volatile outlook had complicated efforts to establish a new five year agreement. While this price freeze is in place the discussions on pricing models will continue. This includes pursuing some much needed reform in charging within the general aviation community. These discussions will provide the basis for determining a preferred price structure that could be implemented from July 2011. Mr Russell said Airservices would also finalise a Services Charter, as discussed with industry at its June annual industry consultation forum, Waypoint 2009. Importantly, we remain absolutely committed to our ongoing recruitment, training and capital expenditure programs to ensure we are well placed to meet future demands when aviation industry growth returns, Mr Russell said. Airservices charges are determined in consultation with industry and are reviewed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.