Airservices delivers safe service and strong industry support during challenging year

Airservices Australia has published its 2019-20 Annual Report, which outlines its response to the significant disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while preparing for the aviation industry’s recovery and longer-term growth.

Airservices CEO Jason Harfield said the organisation remains focused on delivering safe and efficient services that are valued by Australia’s aviation industry, despite challenging conditions in the external environment that resulted in an almost 60 per cent reduction in air traffic in the final quarter of 2019-20.

“Airservices strong safety performance continued, with zero significant attributable safety occurrences as we facilitated 3.5 million aircraft movements through Australia’s skies,” said Mr Harfield.

“Our aviation rescue fire fighters saved 11 lives and responded to more than 5491 incidents at 27 of Australia’s busiest airports.”

More than 200 Airservices fire fighters also assisted Australia’s coordinated response to this year’s devastating bushfire season, Mr Harfield added.

While the closure of domestic and international borders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted previous growth expectations for the commercial airline industry, the organisation continues its preparations for the future.

“Airservices reached several critical milestones in OneSKY program during 2019-20, with the program on track to deliver $1.2 billion in benefits over a 20 year period,” Mr Harfield noted.

And as part of its work to meet the ever-growing demand for access to airspace by new entrants, the organisation completed the first pilot of its UAV integration and Management Services Program, which included the installation of drone surveillance equipment across 29 airports.

While the events of 2019-20 have had a significant impact on financial performance, with an 80 per cent reduction on revenue year-on-year in the final quarter, Airservices moved quickly to identify $30 million in savings in the final quarter of the year alone. Delivery of another $100 million is expected in 2020-21.

“These cost reduction initiatives and other efficiency measures are ongoing, as we continue to provide our customers with value at a time when they need it the most,” Mr Harfield said.

“Overall, while 2019-20 was undoubtedly a challenging year for the aviation industry, we are proud of what Airservices has achieved and the work that has been done to prepare for what lies ahead.

“We are focused on continuing to do what we do best, which is supporting our industry and providing safe, efficient and equitable access to Australia’s skies.”

The Airservices 2019-20 Annual report is available here.

About Airservices

Airservices is Australia’s air navigation service provider. It provides safe, secure, efficient and environmentally-responsible air traffic control, air navigation and aviation rescue fire-fighting services.

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