Aviation

Watchdog sniffs out services at Aussie airports

Daisy Melwani

Profits are up but quality services at Australian airports remain stagnant, the federal consumer watchdog discovers.

The consumer watchdog are hounding in on staggering increases in revenues seen across Australian international airports, but claim they are not seeing any substantial increases in the overall quality of services provided to customers.

In its Airport Monitoring Report 2013-14 released yesterday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport had the highest car parking profit margins in the nation, but its services remained stagnant or in decline despite the extra funds.

“Despite some significant investment, [Brisbane, Melbourne (Tullamarine), Perth and Sydney] airports have continued to generate substantial revenue and profitability increases, yet we are not seeing any substantial increases in the overall average quality of service indicators at these airports,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said, Fairfax reports.

The ACCC report showed Brisbane to be the only airport to achieve an overall average rating of good, and that Sydney, Melbourne and Perth were rated as satisfactory, with Sydney actually rising from a “poor” rating previously.

Sydney airport’s car parks took the gong for raking in the highest in revenue up 12% to $88.1 million, or some $5221 per parking space. Hardly surprising, the airport’s car park charges are the highest in the country – $32 for three hours, $57 for eight hours, and $135 for seven days.

The commission found Perth airport had the cheapest car parks for short and long stays, with the other terminals offering similar prices.

Sydney Airport welcomed 38.7 million passengers last financial year, and made a total aeronautical revenue of $621 million, up 2.9% and was the most for any Australian airport, followed by Melbourne.

Per passenger, Sydney Airport took in $16.03, Perth gained $12.47, Brisbane reported $10.94 and Melbourne was last at $9.90.

According to surveyed passengers the quality of airports’ quality of services taken into consideration included check-in desks, gate lounges, and management’s response to complaints.

Sydney Airport managing director and chief executive, Kerrie Mather was quoted as saying they plan to invest a further $1.2 billion over the next five years in airport improvements following $2.66 billion in investment since 2002.

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