City of Karratha

Parliamentary Inquiry into Regional airfares WA

25 Aug 2017

A Parliamentary inquiry was held into the high cost of regional airfares this week with the Economics and Industry standing committee hearing concerns directly from community members.

The inquiry provided opportunity for members of the public to have their say on the cost of airfares, giving committee members insight into regional air travel.

The City of Karratha made a submission to the inquiry addressing regulation allowing private airports to be built within 100km of existing facilities, landing fees and lack of a regional hub airport.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said fees at airports is a current issue being considered in the public inquiry and explained how these charges in Karratha were on par with those at other regional airports.

“There are three fees charged for each commercial plane that flies into Karratha Airport; a landing fee – which is based on the aircraft weight, passenger service and security fees. Recent reports suggest that Karratha Airport has high landing fees per tonne, however the total carrier fee is very similar to other regional airports,” Cr Long said.

“For example, based on 2016/2017 figures, a Fokker 100 operating at full occupancy would be charged $5428.82 at Karratha Airport, $6171 in Port Hedland and $6,037 in Broome. Perth Airport would charge $5811.20 in fees for the same full plane,” he said.

“Flying half full this looks like $3533.36 in Karratha, $3558.50 in Port Hedland and $3514.51 in Broome. Perth Airport would charge $3110.45, a difference of $8.46 per passenger,” he added.

“This would indicate that while other airports may have lower per tonne fees, their passenger service and security charges are higher than those of Karratha Airport.”

The majority of services operating per week between Karratha and Perth are Fokker 100s.