The aviation sector is a significant contributor to the Australian economy contributing in excess of $30 billion per annum (2% of annual GDP) and employing in excess of 250,000 people (directly by airlines, airports and indirectly by the industry value chain). By 2030 Australia’s population is set to increase to 30 million people (up by 6 million people on today) and as a consequence the size of our major and regional centers will continue to grow, particularly within corridor areas between the major capital cities.
The aviation sector in Australia comprises two distinct sectors: Commercial Air Transport (CAT) and General Aviation (GA). The CAT sector is made up of scheduled commercial air transport and non-scheduled commercial air transport whilst the GA sector is made up of all flying activity in Australian-registered aircraft other than commercial air transport. The major categories of flying are aerial work, own use business flying, instructional flying, sport and pleasure flying and other flying. In addition, the sport aviation segment of GA includes operations in ultralight aircraft, gliders, hang gliders and gyrocopters.
There are distinct challenges in each of these two sectors. CAT is continuing to grow within Australia, with growth rates in the order of 3% per annum . This sector is dominated by Qantas and Virgin, with a few smaller players such as Rex. Challenges include competitive pressure, managing increasing air traffic and technological disruption, including the integration of RPAS into Australian Airspace. The market for General Aviation is declining, at an average of 2.5% p.a. Key challenges in this sector include high costs and inefficient regulation.
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