Avalon Airport is seeking to expand its domestic operations and is set to commence international passenger and freight operations in the second half of 2018, which will provide a range of significant economic advantages to the G21 region.
Avalon Airport’s geographic location between Melbourne and Geelong makes it both a capital city airport and an exceptionally well-equipped regional airport, servicing a large catchment in western Victoria and providing connections to significant tourism destinations such as the Great Ocean Road.
Growth in domestic passenger numbers throughout Australia has been strong over the past decade, and Tourism Research Australia forecasts a steady increase (1 per cent annually) that will continue over the coming decade. The vast distance between major population centres and the absence of a rapid intercity rail network virtually guarantees that the domestic market will continue to grow.
International visitation forecasts also indicate a healthy outlook for the aviation industry over the coming decade, with a projected increase of 2.3 million international travellers annually by 2019.
This highlights Avalon Airport’s expansion opportunities. As a major tourism destination within Australia, the G21 region requires convenient access via a fully functioning Avalon Airport for domestic and international travellers. They, in turn, will provide a valuable boost to regional tourism and the economy.
Jetstar has committed to operate from Avalon Airport, with an agreement that will see passenger services expand over coming years. As part of the agreement, Jetstar currently operates seven services per day and fly to four destinations. This marks a strong partnership that will secure the future of Avalon Airport and its workers for the next decade.
It will also lay the groundwork for future expansion that will cement Avalon Airport as Victoria’s second major passenger airport, including with future international carriers.
Overseas carrier Air Asia X has annpunced its intention to fly twice-daily services to Kuala Lumpur from Avalon beginning 5 December 2018, meaning adequate Australian Border (Customs and Quarantine) facilities will need to be established. This will require federal support.
Avalon Airport is also seeking government support to establish a rail link to the airport to cater for future growth in passenger numbers.
There are further opportunities for the expansion of Avalon Airport including:
- Freight services - Avalon Airport’s location, accessibility and capacity can support a significant number of specialist freight operations.
- Engineering and maintenance – Avalon Airport can accommodate large heavy-maintenance facilities and infrastructure.
- Retail/commercial services - including hotel, rail link, service station, industrial activities, commercial offices and retail facilities.
The airport is privately owned and operates as a commercial venture. The Avalon Airport international terminal and other retail/commercial services are budgeted and accounted for through private investment.
To support the continuation and expansion of domestic services from Avalon Airport
This will require assistance from both federal and state governments.
The State Government provides incentives for airlines to base aircraft in Victoria. However, this assistance needs to be increased to encourage airlines to better utilise Avalon Airport as Victoria’s second international airport.
The Federal Government and its fully owned aviation organisations such as Airservices Australia, should work to ensure Avalon Airport is provided with a fair platform to compete for domestic services. This includes ensuring pricing for services such as air traffic control, firefighting services and policing does not adversely impact Avalon Airport.
To support the development of Avalon Airport as an international passenger airport.
This will require both federal and state government assistance.
The State Government provides incentives for international airlines to operate in Victoria. Continued marketing assistance is required to consolidate Avalon as an international port.
The Federal Government has committed to funding towards the development of a new international terminal.
The Federal Government can also assist Avalon Airport’s international endeavours by providing appropriate border agency services (as required), priced so not to disadvantage Avalon Airport against its competitors. Under current practice some costs would be charged to Avalon Airport (or its airlines) where this does not occur at Tullamarine Airport.
The addition of a rail link to Avalon Airport, connecting with Melbourne and Geelong, will be important to service future domestic and international passenger growth.
The airport also has a large retail and commercial precinct which has the potential to drive regional employment.
Justin Giddings, Chief Executive Officer, Avalon Airport
What has been committed
The Federal Government has committed:
- $20 million towards the construction of Avalon Airport’s new international terminal
- to approve a variation of the airport lease which will fast track a new international airport terminal provided the works do not exceed 10,000m2 and cost more than $20 million
- to re-classify Avalon Airport to make it eligible for benefits associated under the current Regional Airport Package
- has approved the Avalon Airport Masterplan.
The State Government has committed:
- $12 million over 10 years to ensure Jetstar continues and expands passenger services operations at Avalon Airport
- $2.7 million to progress development of an Airport Precinct Master Plan
- $1.2 million to assist in development of a 40-hectare industrial precinct that will help diversify operations and attract further investment
- to support Avalon Airport as the host of the Australian International Airshow until 2025
- to support the development of Geelong as an international aerospace, defence, aviation and engineering hub.
What is required
A Federal Government commitment to:
- improve access to Avalon from both Melbourne, Geelong and regional areas
- standardise border agency and Airservices’ charges and services so they are equal to the rates charged at Tullamarine
A State Government commitment to:
- assist in the realisation of the commercial/retail precinct
- provide continued marketing support to attract tourism to the area utilising Avalon Airport’s services
- deliver a rail link to service Avalon Airport.
A commitment by State and Federal governments to embed GROW training, employment and procurement principles in all government projects within the region.
Flights & Services at Avalon Airport:
For information about flights and services go to the airport website - AvalonAirport.com.au
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