Brisbane Airport warns a new flight-cut proposal by the Australian Greens party could have significant negative repercussions in Queensland.
Details of the Greens Aviation Flight Cuts
Elizabeth Watson-Brown, the Greens Aviation spokesperson and Brisbane MP, announced plans to introduce a Bill restricting flights in the next parliament sitting. The bill would set flight caps at the airport to 45 departures per hour. The airport points out that is fewer flights than when Brisbane Airport operated a single runway. Further, the bill would implement a curfew at the airport, preventing night-time flights. This curfew would cut off international routes from Brisbane.
Air Travel Costs Would Rise Dramatically, Brisbane Airport Warns
“It beggars’ belief that in the middle of a national debate about Australians accessing affordable air travel, the Greens would want to slash international services as well as thousands of services to regional Queensland,” said Stephen Beckett, Head of Public Affairs from Brisbane Airport. “International airfares are currently up to 50% more expensive than before Covid. Australians now understand that extra capacity forces prices down. Wiping out services from Qatar Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Singapore, Qantas, and Virgin, which currently depart after 10 pm, would hit Queenslanders hard.”
Flight Cuts Hurt Queensland
Furthermore, Brisbane Airport says, the curfew and caps combo could see Queensland’s economy take a hit, erasing an estimated 30,000 jobs by 2032 and slashing $2.8 billion in funds.
Ultimately, the proposed flight caps and curfew would lead to a loss of 3,4000 regional flights in Queensland annually.
Critically, the move will make it challenging for regional Queenslanders to connect with their loved ones, vacation, engage in business, or seek specialist medical care.
The Potential Aftereffects of Curbing Flights at a Glance:
- International flights at risk include those from Qatar, Singapore Airlines, and Emirates.
- Regional connectivity is in jeopardy, with predictions of 3,100 fewer flights annually, separating rural areas from urban hubs.
- Economic fallout due to flight loss could cripple tourism, business sectors, and lead to substantial job losses, affecting Queensland’s overall economic performance.
- Economic loss: The estimated loss is around $2.82 billion in FY31/32.
- Job losses: About 30,000 jobs across multiple sectors could be lost by FY31/32, surpassing Brisbane Airport’s current employment numbers.
- Airfares: The reduced flight numbers could skyrocket ticket prices, making them unaffordable for many.
- Freight movements: Overnight freight, crucial for medicine and fresh produce, will be impacted. Timely deliveries may no longer be a guarantee in Queensland.
- 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games: The anticipated tourism dividend from these events could be reversed due to the reduced flight numbers. Notably, Brisbane Airport serves 75% of Queensland’s inbound visitors.
- Australia’s aviation bottleneck: By decade’s end, Brisbane might become the nation’s major chokepoint, affecting major domestic routes and passengers.
- Community relief: The caps and curfew might not offer the desired respite. Instead, initiatives like flight path design and operations improvement are already under community consultation, with more packages on the horizon.
Queensland and its residents have a lot at stake. With the Greens’ proposal threatening to disrupt the state’s connectivity and economy, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision about the future of Queensland’s aviation industry.
The FlightChic Take: Flight Cut Proposals Spread Over Sustainability Concerns
Last week saw two similar announcements of radical flight cuts at Schiphol Airport and Mexico City International Airport. These proposals have a major social and economic impact on the Netherlands and Mexico. Those impacts extend beyond borders as they complicate international connectivity and trade.
We take a lot for granted in our modern world, including the availability of goods from other countries, which we’ve come to expect at the shops. Much of what we rely on day-to-day is made possible by aviation. Yes, airlines take us places, but it’s not just a leisurely pursuit. While doing so, they also bring us fresh food, medicine, critical supplies, and livestock. It is essential to have sustainable aviation to ensure we meet our climate targets while preserving our way of life.
Governments ‘ green initiatives should focus on supporting airlines’ sustainability needs, particularly funding sustainable alternative fuels (SAF) and developing new aircraft technologies. Stemming aviation is an easy political win. Let’s face it: airlines are always hot for negative headlines.
Ask yourself why aviation would be the target of such extreme measures when it accounts for 2% of global carbon emissions. On the other hand, the infrastructure that supports the Internet is responsible for 4%. Should we also cut off the internet?
FlightChic believes this issue arises because many still misunderstand aviation’s vital role in modern life. The ultimate editorial aim of this site is to fix that. Stay informed.