Airport Investment and Fees

17 September 2019

Airport Investment and Airport Fees

Port Hedland International Airport (PHIA) is operated by a private consortium of investors under a 50-year lease that was granted to it by the Town of Port Hedland (ToPH) in 2016. Under the terms of this long-term lease, the ToPH received an upfront cash payment of $165 million plus a commitment from the consortium to invest a further $40 million in airport infrastructure by 2021. PHIA is finalising its airport investment plans to provide increased comfort, safety, security and efficiency for passengers and airport users.

The end result will be a major improvement in the current terminal as well as improved capacity and reliability of airside infrastructure designed to provide a modern, safe and secure airport that continues to operate 365 days a year to keep Port Hedland open for business.In relation to commentary on regional airfares, PHIA has no ability to influence the airfares that are charged by the airlines that fly to and from PHIA.

As a predominantly fly-in fly-out market, providing affordable airfares to local residents hasn’t been a priority for airlines. While it is encouraging that they are finally appearing to do something about their exceptionally high airfares, making fare reductions conditional on reductions in airport charges is incredibly cynical.

In the context of operating a full service regional airport with very low passenger throughput in a region with very high input costs, our charges are more than reasonable and benchmark against other airports. Airport fees are held constant throughout the year and PHIA certainly does not take advantage of residents when they’re at their most vulnerable.

PHIA do not charge more when you want to get away for a few days at Easter or Christmas. The airport does not charge locals more when they need to travel to Perth or beyond for a medical or family emergency. For example, PHIA do not charge passengers more to travel to see a West Coast Eagles finals match, and definitely don’t bump up prices when a cyclone is approaching and you need to get your family to a safe place.

Can the airlines say the same? Since March 2016, airport charges at PHIA have increased three times, each time to account for inflation.PHIA’s contribution to the local community in Port Hedland has and will continue to be significant. PHIA is incredibly proud of its contributions and continues to focus on improving facilities and services for all of our customers.

Contact: Rod Evans General Manager Port Hedland International Airport (08) 9160 0500