Report identifies land transport links as vital to airports

A NEW report released by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) identifies land transport links to Australia's major airports as being crucial to the further expansion of aviation and its associated economic benefits.

The report, Accessing Our Airports, produced by Booz and Co, reviews land transport access to 12 major airports around Australia and identifies short-, medium- and long-term priority projects for improving land transport to each of the 12 airports.

The report states that the integrated delivery of transport service improvements to airports in city planning is key to facilitating the continuing growth in productivity and jobs.

TTF Chief Executive John Lee said airports are vital economic assets, making a "massive" contribution to the national economy.

"It's vital that adequate and appropriate transport links are in place to support the movement of passengers, staff and freight to and from our airports and their surrounding precincts," Mr Lee said.

Four key themes related to land transport issues are identified in the report, including an "overwhelming" reliance on the private car and taxi, the need for coordinated land transport planning and the need for improved public transport.

The report states that the key impediments to increased public transport use reflect a mix of price and service-related issues.

Traffic congestion on key access roads, congested pick-up and drop-off areas, limited public transport options, illegal parking on key access roads and poor signage and wayfinding were some of the consistent access issues found across the surveyed airports.

The report calls for a "far more collaborative approach by airports and the three levels of government", including the creation of planning coordination forums, airport land transport plans in consultation with land and transport planning authorities.

"We must acknowledge that integrating airport transport links into broader plans for our cities will help to control congestion, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support private sector investment and stimulate job creation," Mr Lee said.

"Achieving this requires complementary policies which harmonise the federal regulations regarding airports with state-based planning frameworks to deliver the necessary access to airports and their ancillary precincts."

The report follows last year's passing of the Airports Amendment Bill 2010, which contained a number of changes including requirements for airports to develop land transport plans, undertake greater community consultation and to better align development and planning with local planning systems.

The report, Accessing Our Airports, is available from the Tourism and Transport Forum website at <>.

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