ACCC role in airports & aviation

The ACCC monitors and publishes information relating to prices, costs, profits and service quality of aeronautical services and facilities and car parking at Australia’s four largest airports.

Our responsibilities

Our responsibilities include:

  • monitoring prices, costs and profits and quality of aeronautical services and car parking at Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports
  • assessing notifications of proposed price increases from Sydney Airport in relation to regional air services
  • assessing notifications of proposed price increases from Airservices Australia, which provides air traffic control and aviation fire-fighting and rescue services to airports and airlines.

Monitoring at the major airports

We monitor prices, costs and profits and quality of aeronautical services and car parking at Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports in accordance with directions issued by the Assistant Treasurer under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) and under the provisions of the Airports Act 1996.

See: Airports monitoring

Aeronautical services at Australian airports

Pursuant to a direction made under section 95ZF of the Act, the ACCC undertakes monitoring of the prices, costs and profits relating to the supply of aeronautical services and facilities at the following Australian airports:

  • Melbourne Tullamarine Airport
  • Brisbane Airport
  • Perth Airport
  • Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.

Direction to monitor aeronautical services at major airports [ pdf (72.15 KB) ]

Under Part 8 of the Airports Act, the ACCC is also required to monitor the quality of aeronautical services and facilities at Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney airports.

Car parking services at Australian airports

Pursuant to a direction made under section 95ZF of the Act, the ACCC undertakes monitoring of the prices, costs and profits relating to the supply of car parking services at the following Australian airports:

  • Melbourne Tullamarine Airport
  • Brisbane Airport
  • Perth Airport
  • Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport.

Direction to monitor car parking services at major airports [ PDF (34.42 KB) ]

Assessing price notifications

Our responsibilities include assessing notifications of proposed price increases from Sydney Airport in relation to regional air services and proposed price increases from Airservices Australia, which provides air traffic control and aviation fire-fighting and rescue services to airports and airlines.

See: Airports projects for details and a list of price notifications.

See also: Regulatory approach to price notifications

Access regulation

Airports remain potentially subject to the general third party access provisions of Part IIIA of the Act, which sets out the general framework for access regulation.

Access regulation aims to ensure that businesses have access, on commercial terms, to the service offered by certain essential infrastructure facilities such as airports. It gives the minister the role of deciding whether a service should be covered by access regulation.

When a facility is declared under the access provisions in Part IIIA of the CCA, and an access seeker is unable to negotiate a satisfactory commercial agreement for terms of access, the ACCC may be asked to arbitrate.

Under s. 192(1) of the Airports Act 1996 the then minister previously made determinations that ‘airport services’ at the privatised ‘core regulated airports’ were covered by Part IIIA of the Act. These determinations expired on 1 July 2002 for Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth airports, and expired on 1 July 2003 for Adelaide, Gold Coast, Hobart, Launceston, Alice Springs, Canberra, Townsville and Darwin airports.

On 19 July 2003, the then Minister for Transport and Regional Services, the Hon John Anderson MP, made a formal determination that s. 192(2) of the Airports Act applied to Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport, but that the determination was to expire 24 hours after publication of the notice in the Commonwealth Gazette (which occurred on 30 July 2003).

In May 2002, the then government indicated that airport-specific access regulation would not continue to apply. Accordingly, s. 192 of the Airports Act was repealed on 6 September 2003 by the Civil Aviation Amendment Act 2003.

Declarations by Minister for Transport – 1998-2000 [ pdf (200.11 KB) ]

Determination by the Minister for Transport - Sydney Airport July 2003 [ pdf (26.37 KB) ]

See: National access regime under Part IIIA

Airlines

The ACCC has no specific role in relation to airlines. However, the general provisions of the Act apply to airlines

See: Consumers

Information about airline mergers is available from: Mergers

Contact the airport group

For enquiries relating to the ACCC's regulatory role in airports as outlined on this page, please contact:

General Manager,
Infrastructure & Transport – Access & Pricing
GPO Box 520
Melbourne VIC 3001
Ph: (03) 9290 1800
Email: airport.group@accc.gov.au

Note: enquiries or complaints about airline conduct under the Australian Consumer Law or general competition law provisions of the Act may be directed to the ACCC InfoCentre.
See: Make a consumer complaint

More information

Airports projects
Airports monitoring
DOTARS review of Airports Act
Price notifications

 

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