BARNZ has had its say on the Civil Aviation Bill, the first major review of New Zealand’s aviation and airport law in nearly three decades.
Airlines are pleased to see progress with this Bill. We support modernising the legislation and the aim to build a fit-for-purpose Act that can set up New Zealand’s aviation sector for the next thirty years. Given the importance of this legislation to the aviation sector, we are keen for the Bill to be finalised in this term of Parliament.
BARNZ and our members are especially delighted that the Bill will remove the anachronistic legislation that allows an airport to ‘price as it thinks fit’. This is unnecessary as there is no doubt that airports, like every other service provider in the country, can charge for their services. Worse, the clause underpins and supports monopoly over-charging by airports and undermines recent changes to the Commerce Act that
Removing the law that says airports can price as they think fit is an important step towards a robust and credible set of regulations for our natural monopoly airports. Even better would be for negotiate-arbitrate regulation to apply to our airports, which would even up the playing field so airlines and airports can negotiate fair prices on equal footing.
As an industry association, BARNZ does not get involved in airline alliance decisions. However, in principle we agree that the right to approve airline alliances should remain with the Minister of Transport.
We also support improved thresholds for airports to consult with their major customers about capital expenditure projects. We agree that the Minister should have power to levy drone users for the costs they create for the aviation system – at the moment these costs are mostly being imposed on airlines, and in turn their passengers, which is unacceptable.
BARNZ’s submission on the bill is likely to be published later this year.