The Australian Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development has announced the commencement of an aviation recovery plan targeted at retraining workers and modernizing regional infrastructure.
The Aviation Recovery Framework, which was launched on December 20, 2021, is a strategy designed in collaboration with members of the aviation industry to assist the industry in returning to a position of strength.
The Australian government stated in a statement that aviation is a vital generator of economic activity. Prior to the pandemic, the aviation industry employed approximately 90,000 people, with thousands more working in other industries.
For our economic and social prosperity, Australia relies on aviation to connect our towns and businesses with one another and with the rest of the globe.
The framework is supported by the following sources:
New investment of $55 million (AU 78 million), includes $2.8 million (AU 4 million) to enhance the number of women in the sector and $10.67 million (AU 15 million) to upgrade rural aerodromes.
The third stage of a regional aviation infrastructure program will provide an additional $20 million (AU 29 million). General and recreational aviation operators will benefit from a $21 million ($30 million) rebate program to improve aircraft safety.
All of this is on top of the government’s $ 3.77 billion (AU $5.3 billion) commitment to the aviation sector since the pandemic began.
Six strategic priorities are included in the framework:
- supporting aviation efficiency by targeting investment and enhancing regulatory settings to help businesses across the entire industry to thrive;
- building a sustainable pipeline of workforce skills for the future;
- adopting and integrating emerging aviation technologies, including drones;
- modernizing airports regulation to ensure Australia has the aviation infrastructure it needs for the future;
- revitalizing General Aviation to help it realize its potential in supporting business and the community, especially in our regions; and
- better connecting regional communities by providing targeted support for access to essential aviation services and investing in regional aviation infrastructure.
The framework will be implemented by a Strategic Aviation Advisory Forum, which will advise the government on the success of the sector’s recovery as well as concerns facing the industry moving forward.
The government has also extended its participation in the General Aviation Advisory Network, and it will commission a targeted study of the Civil Aviation Act to determine any necessary adjustments to improve the aviation industry’s productivity, innovation, and competitiveness.
“As a critical enabler of economic activity, the government is focused on ensuring the industry returns to pre-pandemic levels as soon as it is safe to do so,” Deputy Prime Minister of Australia Barnaby Joyce said in a statement.
“We are putting in place policies and regulations to foster a competitive, safe and secure aviation sector that all Australians can rely on, and not just for travel and leisure purposes.”
In response to the government support, Airlines for Australia and New Zealand CEO Dr Alison Roberts said: “The experience and uncertainty of the past two years have reinforced the need for support to be flexible and responsive to changing conditions.”
“As the Deputy Prime Minister noted, support is more than the necessary financial measures that have helped the aviation sector through the worst of the pandemic. It is about ensuring that the right policy settings are in place across the whole aviation ecosystem, to enable us to face the significant challenges that we still have ahead of us.”