Qantas Submission on Future Aviation Policy

Sydney, 06 July 2008

Qantas has lodged its public submission in response to the Australian Government's invitation for industry and community input to assist in the development of a comprehensive National Aviation Policy Statement (White Paper).

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said the Government's development of an Aviation White Paper was an important and timely opportunity to consider the broader framework that will guide the industry's development in the longer term.

"The significant and rapid change currently affecting the global aviation industry, and the long lead times required for planning and investment, demand an integrated national policy approach.

"The future of the aviation industry is inextricably linked to the wellbeing of the Australian economy."

Mr Dixon said he was pleased the White Paper would address broader factors shaping the industry, in addition to questions of international market access.

"In the coming years, existing pressures for change are likely to intensify, and new ones are bound to emerge," Mr Dixon said.

"In addition to the impact of globalisation and increased competition, higher input prices, an ongoing focus on security and pressing environmental considerations are among factors that will require the industry to achieve unprecedented efficiencies."

Mr Dixon said the industry's ability to successfully navigate these challenges would largely depend on its responsiveness to change and ability to adapt.

"Policy settings that are flexible, practical, coordinated and forward-looking will best place the industry to do this," Mr Dixon said.

"For the Australian aviation industry, this includes the ability to secure capital to support investment in new and more efficient aircraft, to deliver returns to shareholders and to operate on a fair and internationally competitive footing."

"A stable policy and regulatory framework should deliver competitive yet sustainable market access, foster investment in efficient, modern and affordable infrastructure, less emissions-intensive technology and skills that support aviation. It should be underpinned by practical, cost-effective and harmonised standards that ensure the operation of safe and secure air services."

Mr Dixon said the aviation industry's interaction with Australia's broader policy settings in areas such as taxation, competition and industry development were also important considerations for the review.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3783)