• Jenny Shipley

"The passage of the Airport Authorities Amendment Bill today will give airport users greater protection against monopoly abuse," Transport Minister Jenny Shipley said today.

"While there is no evidence at present of that occurring, airport companies are now clearly on notice that they need to keep their houses in order."

When the Bill comes into force it will enhance the airport regulatory environment by:

requiring all airport companies to consult with substantial customers at least every five years on monopoly charges, eg. landing charges and departure charges

requiring airport companies, with revenue of more than $10m per annum, to consult on significant capital expenditure and to disclose detailed information on monopoly activities.
The Commerce Commission will be invited to report on whether there is evidence of monopoly pricing by the three major international airports within the next two years. It will also look at whether aeronautical charges at these airports need to be subjected to some form of price control.

The Commerce Commission will also be invited to carry out a further review by December 2003 on any specific issues identified in the first review.

"This package of measures shows how seriously the Government is taking the concerns expressed by airport users about the possibility of monopoly abuse by airport companies," Mrs Shipley said.

"It is important that we have a regulatory framework which clearly sets out the rights and obligations of all parties involved," she concluded.