Air traffic services say they are in control

Airservices Australia CEO Jason Harfield has justified his organisation’s plan to charge Darwin and Townsville passengers extra to deal with cost overruns from the OneSky project to integrate military and civilian air traffic control.

Mr Harfield said the majority of Darwin and Townsville air traffic movements were civil and the management of air traffic at these locations has a significant impact on the domestic network. 

“With civil operations able to be managed safely, and significantly more efficiently, from a consolidated location, Airservices is able to justify accepting the cost of the required infrastructure into Brisbane and recover this from existing charges,” Mr Harfield said.

“Feedback from major airlines is that they see a significant benefit in closer alignment with civil operations and are supportive of any reasonable fee increase to achieve this outcome.”

Despite the many documents showing the issues around functional specifications Mr Harfield said there would be no increase in charges to their customers to deliver OneSky due to “the efficiency gains achieved via our Accelerate program.”