Mar 9, 2017

Will A4ANZ lobby seek third runway for Melbourne Airport?

Don't expect the new airline lobby to bust airport parking rip-offs, but they may force runway and airspace upgrades

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

A bit more blood is needed in the anemic A4ANZ graphics

The new united front by Australian and New Zealand airlines to end their being mercilessly screwed by privately owned airports is seeking popular approval by identifying itself in the media as on the side of consumers victimised by such things as unjustifiably costly car parking charges.

It’s both a clever and welcome lever to use, even though the A4ANZ or Airlines for Australia and New Zealand website is much more focused on the neglect of airport infrastructure.

Although this is but Day One, a key issues that might engage A4ANZ would be curing Melbourne Airport’s vulnerability to long delays caused by adverse crosswinds by building a third runway ASAP.

Such a runway, which has been modelled in various forms by Melbourne Airport’s owners, would also ease peak hour congestion even when strong westerlies aren’t playing havoc with schedules.

There have long been mutterings from pilots and some operational people about the need for the Melbourne’s terminal airspace to be redesigned, something of potential attraction to the residents of suburbs affected by a concentration of traffic that approaches the main airport by overflying nearby Essendon airport.

REX or Regional Express appears to be something of the odd person out when in comes to the membership of A4ANZ. Not to put too fine a point on it, but REX’s tiny turboprops really get in the way of the bigger slot hungry ambitions of the other much larger airlines, and they’d probably like to see it dead.

The PR quote from REX’s Executive Chairman Lim Kim Hai is exquisitely constructed. He says “A4ANZ is critical for regional communities as major airports are all too ready to sacrifice critical regional interests.

“Rex looks forward to working with Professor Samuel and the Board to ensure the sustainability of all stakeholders big or small in the aviation industry.”

There is no chance that the likes of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce or his Virgin Australia peer John Borghetti will be seen shoulder to shoulder brandishing placards outside airport shareholder meetings, or responding to crises of “What do we want?” with a chorus line of “Another Melbourne runway”.

But a united front against the legacy of the dumbest and most ruinous privatisations in Australian history, that of monopoly gateway airports, might yet produce some fireworks.

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7 thoughts on “Will A4ANZ lobby seek third runway for Melbourne Airport?

  1. Dan Dair

    Whilst I agree that major airports are gouging passengers at every opportunity
    & possibly doing the same to the airlines,
    it’s hardly as if the airlines have been doing their best to make passengers feel as welcome, wanted & comfortable as they might, is it.?

    It looks to me very much of a Goliath vs Goliath battle
    which may benefit us, the Davids of this world,
    but which is much more likely to benefit one or more of the Goliaths.?

    1. caf

      The difference of course, is that while the airlines are at least selling a product that we want to buy, the airports are just a ticket-clipping gatekeeper between us and the airlines. Nobody goes to airports for the shopping or the food – we’re only there because that’s where the aircraft are.

      1. Jacob HSR

        It is strange how Tulla will not build a shopping mall – nor an apartment block.

        Essendon airport has car dealerships, supermarket, restaurants, fashion shops, electronics shops squeezed into a tight space. While Tulla has heaps of space!

        1. Dan Dair

          Jacob HSR,
          I’m sure when the put the second parallel runway in place, it’ll take-up a lot of the current space & I’d not be surprised if they didn’t build another terminal & a lot of new apron to go with it.?

          1. ghostwhowalksnz

            Not take up a lot of space . The location is south of the city side of the terminals to make another east-west runway. Much longer term is another north south runway to the west of the existing one.

          2. Dan Dair

            I completely misunderstood, I thought the plan was for another long North-South runway.!

        2. comet

          Tullamarine needs to keep its grassy spaces around the runway, for those occasional moments that airlines like Emirates might want to drive their A340s over them.

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