Australian Airports: Revenue may be taking off, but overall quality of service is set to crash land
The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently released its report into airport pricing and quality for 2011-2012. The report measures airport performance based upon feedback received from customers, airlines and other stakeholders. The ACCC is required to report annually on the performance of each of Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney Airports.
The report indicated that while Australian airports have overall been able to maintain their profitability levels, the service levels provided by these airports has reduced when compared to the previous year’s statistics. Increased domestic demand and international passengers, coupled with higher prices for some services led to an increase in revenues at all Australian airports (with the exception of Adelaide). Despite this, service quality and investment in airport infrastructure declined. This was also the first year since 2007-2008 that no monitored airport received an overall rating of ‘good’.
The report notes that airports are facing significant challenges in dealing with increasing passenger numbers as well as increased demands being placed on airport infrastructure. It calls for greater investment in airport infrastructure and services in order to avoid excessive congestion and ensure that the future needs of Australia’s passengers can be accommodated. In particular, the report found that over the past ten years the number of flights that are classified as ‘on-time’ has been decreasing. Should airports fail to investment in infrastructure, then the number of ‘on-time’ flights will undoubtedly decrease.
The report proposes that a timely response is required by Australian airports to avoid the potential issues raised in the report and it is anticipated that increased strategic investment in infrastructure will undoubtedly relieve the growing congestion pressure being felt at most airports.