Airport Advisory Committee Agenda




27 April 2022

















NOTICE is given that a meeting of the Airport Advisory Committee will be held in the Committee Room, Administration Building, Southern Drive, Busselton on Wednesday, 27 April 2022, commencing at 9.00am.


The attendance of Committee Members is respectfully requested.




Statements or decisions made at Council meetings or briefings should not be relied on (or acted upon) by an applicant or any other person or entity until subsequent written notification has been given by or received from the City of Busselton. Without derogating from the generality of the above, approval of planning applications and building permits and acceptance of tenders and quotations will only become effective once written notice to that effect has been given to relevant parties. The City of Busselton expressly disclaims any liability for any loss arising from any person or body relying on any statement or decision made during a Council meeting or briefing.




oliver darby




                                                                                                                                                                   22 April 2022


Agenda FOR THE Airport Advisory Committee MEETING TO BE HELD ON 27 April 2022



ITEM NO.                                        SUBJECT                                                                                                                              PAGE NO.

1....... Declaration of Opening, acknowledgement of country and Announcement of Visitors. 4

2....... Attendance. 4

3....... Public Question Time. 4

4....... Disclosure Of Interests. 4

5....... Confirmation and Receipt of Minutes. 4

5.1          Minutes of the Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held 16 February 2022. 4

6....... Reports. 5



7....... General Discussion Items. 17

8....... Next Meeting Date. 17

9....... Closure. 17


Airport Advisory Committee                                            4                                                                        27 April 2022


1.               Declaration of Opening, acknowledgement of country and Announcement of Visitors



2.               Attendance 



3.               Public Question Time



4.               Disclosure Of Interests



5.               Confirmation and Receipt of Minutes

5.1             Minutes of the Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held 16 February 2022


That the Minutes of the Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held 16 February 2022 be confirmed as a true and correct record.


Airport Advisory Committee                                            10                                                                      27 April 2022

6.               Reports



OPPORTUNITY - A vibrant City with diverse opportunities and a prosperous economy


3.4 Develop aviation opportunities at the Busselton Margaret River Airport.




Community and Commercial Services


Director, Community and Commercial Services - Naomi Searle


Director, Community and Commercial Services - Naomi Searle


Executive: Substantial direction setting, including adopting budgets, strategies, plans and policies (excluding local planning policies); funding, donations and sponsorships; reviewing committee recommendations


Absolute Majority





That the Council:

1.         Supports the engagement of a Business Development resource to pursue commercial opportunities at the Busselton Margaret River Airport, and

2.         Endorses the allocation of $130k in the draft 2022/23 and 2023/24 budgets to engage a Business Development resource acknowledging that these costs will be funded from the net operating surplus of the Busselton Margaret River Airport.



With the completion of Busselton Margaret River Airport (BMRA) redevelopment project, increased charter and regular public transport (RPT) services, and easing of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the BMRA is facing increasing operational requirements.  Operational safety and effectiveness of the BMRA is priority, however as a result, and given current resourcing levels the ability to pursue commercial development opportunities is limited. 


This report recommends Council allocate funding to engage a dedicated resource focused on pursuing commercial development opportunities for a two year period commencing in the 2022/23 financial year.


The City of Busselton completed the BMRA redevelopment project in March 2018 with construction of airside and landside infrastructure that enables domestic and international air services to destinations such as Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Denpasar and China. The redevelopment project was funded through the Federal and State Governments in conjunction with the City of Busselton and enabled the construction of significant infrastructure including the following:

·        Code 4E Runway: 2520m x 45m to facilitate aircraft such as Boeing 737, Airbus 320 and Airbus 330;

·        A total of 11 aircraft apron parking bays (Code C / E) and connecting taxiways;

·        Jet A1 and Avgas fuel facility (Truck & Bowser);

·        Two helipads;

·        Public car parking (422 bays);

·        General aviation precinct 34 lots comprising two Code B aprons capable of accommodating up to 34 fully serviced hangars and two fully serviced hangar lots with Code C apron access;

·        Airfreight hub – Stage 1 of the Commercial and Industrial Precinct with four serviced lots with direct airside access and three landside serviced lots.


Following successful negotiations with Jetstar, the airline and the City announced a new Melbourne – Busselton RPT service in October 2019, with a commencement date of 25 March 2020. To facilitate the new service, the City expanded the existing terminal and constructed a new separate arrivals hall, in addition to procuring and installing necessary security screening and baggage handling equipment.  Services were postponed on a number of occasions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and recently commenced on 6 April 2022.


Since this time the City has been pursuing various commercial opportunities which were noted and endorsed at the City’s of Busselton Airport Advisory Committee (AAC) meeting held 2nd December 2020, and as set out in the below table:





BMRA Route Development

·      Interstate RPT domestic services (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane)

·      Intrastate FIFO closed charter operations 

·      Intrastate RPT domestic services (Port Hedland, Karratha, Broome, Newman)

·      International RPT services (Singapore)

·      Develop business case for Sydney and Singapore services with State Government (TWA)

·      Continue to promote the BMRA as a FIFO regional base to mining /resource sector (Rio Tinto, BHP, FMG, CME)

·      Negotiations with airlines

·      Federal Govt approvals (Home Affairs, Border Force) 

Alternate landing Site

·      Alternate airport for international airlines to Perth Airport in the event of inclement weather and/or closure

·      Business analysis to provide the service including airline pricing structure, aircraft infrastructure and aviation firefighting and rescue services  

·      Quantify the requirements and costings for the City to provide a full alternate landing site facility

·      Prepare an appropriate  pricing structure for charging international airlines for using BMRA

General Aviation


34 lots Code B

·      Various sizes, with capacity to combine land lots

·      Fully serviced lots for lease with Code B apron access.

·      GA focus

·      Option 1  -  advertise and market lease opportunities

·      Option 2  -  prepare business case for Council to lease developed hangar lots (City construct hangars)

·      Option 3 -  enter into a partnership with developer/investor to build and lease hangar lots 

General Aviation

1 x Code C lot

·      Fully serviced

·      Size: 3840m2 each

·      Suit aircraft maintenance / servicing / freight / smaller RPT operations

·      Advertise commercial lease opportunity, including domestic freight, private charter operations or RPT operations (GA aircraft < 30,000kgs)

Commercial & Industrial precinct

4 land lots


·      Fully serviced land lots for lease

·      Size: 4864m2 each

·      Direct runway access

·      Dedicated airfreight focus for lease by commercial aviation and support businesses

·      Option 1 -  City advertise and market commercial lease opportunities intrastate and nationally

·      Option 2 – City enter into commercial arrangement on long term lease basis with private developer/investor

·      Option 3 -  Approach Airport North Developer and negotiate commercial arrangement for external management of precinct

·      Option 4 -  Offer land lots for sale, either individually or as a precinct

Commercial & Industrial precinct

3 land lots


·      3 fully serviced land lots for lease

·      Size: 2018-3088m2 each

·      General freight focus



·      Electronic screens in the terminal / arrivals hall

·      Static posters located in the terminal

·      Fences and benches within Carparks

·      Billboard (Neville Hyder Drive)


·      Electronic screen is available  - advertising to be completed

·      Static poster boards to be installed early 2021 – advertising to be completed

·      Following commencement RPT services, landside advertising opportunities (car parks, benches etc.) to be completed

Landside commercial opportunities

·      Airport Café/kiosk

·      Retail / tourism products

·      Car valeting and storage

·      Fuel station

·      Hotel / short stay accommodation 

·      BMRA café /kiosk license in negotiations now

·      Retail  / tourism product once RPT operations commence (small scale), dependent on new terminal

·      Car valeting and storage once RPT operations have commenced

·      Long term opportunities - Fuel stations and hotel sites


Through the AAC the Council has been kept up to date on the progress of these commercial development opportunities.  While the pandemic has placed considerable constraints on Officers being able to achieve significant outcomes, fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) charter services have increased from 10 flights per week using the Fokker 100 aircraft in January 2020 to 24 flights per week with Fokker 100, A320 and Dash-8 aircraft operating as of the end of March 2022.  


In addition to the three new Jetstar RPT services, scheduled FIFO services now operate over five days per week.

With increased charter and RPT activities, the airport is now facing considerable operational pressures which in turn is preventing officers being able to dedicate time to advance commercial opportunities.


The BMRA’s commercial and industrial opportunities have been highlighted as a priority in the City’s draft Economic Development Strategy (2022-2027) and as such it now requires dedicated resources to progress these into real outcomes such as new airservices route development, air freight opportunities, commercial land opportunities including hangar leases and international alternate operations.


The BMRA operates with 3.5 full time equivalent (FTE) staff; 1 FTE Airport Operations Coordinator and 2.5 FTE Airport Reporting Officers.  In addition to this, the City’s Manager Economic and Business Development is the nominated Airport Manager who is required to perform certain regulatory functions as required by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Aviation Transport Security Act 2004, and the Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005. The Manager is also responsible for the management of the Economic and Business Development Activity Unit, Busselton Jetty Tourist Park, and the Busselton Jetty.


Operationally BMRA officers schedule maintenance and daily work priorities through outdated and manual paper based systems which are now proving inefficient and time consuming.  Officers are currently undertaking a review of the airport’s operating systems to identify more appropriate and modern systems to guide maintenance and daily activities. 


In addition to this, the City is undertaking a number of Request for Quotations/Tenders for the construction of General Aviation hangars, relocation of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a marquee to extend the secure departure lounge in the arrivals hall, and additional public car parking.  A number of other priority works have also been identified with the introduction of RPT services, including a ground servicing equipment storage facility, improved baggage handling systems, additional boarding counters, and weather protection area on the front of the arrivals terminal. 


Competing with the operational priorities are the following strategic and commercial opportunities:

·        Airport Master Plan review

·        Progressing commercial opportunities:

o   General Aviation (GA) Precinct (GA hangars and aircraft maintenance facilities)

o   Commercial and Industrial Precinct

o   Freight services

o   Airline engagement – RPT, Charter and Alternate International Airport

·        Emergency Services Precinct

·        Asset Management Plan, funded by the Department of Transport.


With scheduled charter and RPT services now spanning five days a week, airport staff time is increasingly dedicated to operations rather than pursing commercial and more strategic opportunities.


In order to maintain and maximise the airport’s operational performance and achieve the commercial opportunities and priorities outlined in the City’s draft Economic Development Strategy (2022-2027), it is recommended that additional resources be allocated to the Airport. 

As the airport operates as a commercial business unit, there will be no financial impact to the municipal budget if this is endorsed, with adequate resourcing within the Airport Reserve.


It is recommended that this funding be allocated for a period of two years commencing in the 2022/23 financial year to enable the recruitment of a Business Development staff member to pursue these opportunities.  It is envisaged the Business Development resource will work closely with airport staff and also the City’s Economic Development team to ensure priorities and activities are aligned and not duplicated.


Statutory Environment

The BMRA operates in accordance with the following:

·        Aviation Transport Security Act 2004

·        Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005

·        CASA Manual of Standards 139

·        Council’s Transport Security Plan

·        City policies and procedures.


The officer recommendation supports the general function of a local government under the Local Government Act 1995 to provide for the good government of persons in its district.


Relevant Plans and Policies

The officer recommendation aligns to the following adopted plans:

·        Busselton Margaret River Airport Master Plan 2016

·        Draft City of Busselton Economic Development Strategy (2022-2027).


Financial Implications

As at 30th March 2022 the BMRA salaries and wages budget including overtime was approximately $17k underspent; with the end of financial year net operational profit is projected to be in excess of $400k.  Approximately $130k per annum over two years will be required to fund a dedicated Business Development resource. 


The Airport operates as a “commercial business unit”, (i.e. the net profit of the airport operations is transferred at the end of the financial year to the Airport Marketing and Incentive Reserve). As the proposed funds required for the economic development resource, there will be no financial impact to the bottom line of the annual budget each year, provided the BMRA continues to produce a net profit.


The City’s Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) indicates an estimated balance of $2.3M within the Airport Marketing and Incentive Reserve by the end of 2021/22.  


Stakeholder Consultation

Officers continue to consult with the relevant stakeholders in regards to further developing the airport, including Airlines, Tourism WA, Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, Australia South West, aircraft operators and owners and commercial / investment developers.


Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the Officer Recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified


As an alternative to the proposed recommendation the Council could choose not to allocate funding towards a dedicated Business Development resource.  This would significantly limit the ability to progress priorities identified to further develop the commercial and economic development opportunities at the airport.


Following the airport redevelopment works, the commencement of RPT services, and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the BMRA is now facing unprecedented growth.  There are a number of operational and strategic priorities that need to be progressed in order to realise the full potential of the airport. 


Existing BMRA staff resources are focused on ensuring operational requirements and compliance with CASA and Home Affairs regulations and as such, commercial development opportunities are not able to be prioritised.  It is therefore recommended that funding be allocated towards a resource to pursue business development opportunities and work alongside the BMRA and Economic Development teams to maximise economic development outcomes for the region.


Recruitment of an officer will be progressed immediately following the endorsement of Council.  It is envisaged the Officer will commence at the beginning of the 2022/23 financial year.



Airport Advisory Committee                                            16                                                                      27 April 2022



OPPORTUNITY - A vibrant City with diverse opportunities and a prosperous economy


3.4 Develop aviation opportunities at the Busselton Margaret River Airport.


Busselton Margaret River Airport


Commercial Services


Manager Economic and Business Development Services - Jennifer May


Director, Community and Commercial Services - Naomi Searle


Choose an item.


Simple Majority




That the Council receives and notes the Airport Operations Report.


This report provides an overview of the operations and activities of the Busselton Margaret River Airport (BMRA) for the reporting period 1 July 2022 through 31 March 2022. This includes an update on passenger numbers, closed charter and general airport operations. While not included in the reporting period, Jetstar RPT operations commenced on 6 April 2022 and an initial update of the first flights is provided.


The BMRA has seen positive growth in aircraft landings and passenger numbers with additional closed charter flights operating during the reporting period along with DFES Large Air Tanker and helitac operations, and military aircraft activity.


Aircraft Movements

The total number of Fly in Fly out (FIFO) closed charter services operating from the BMRA has increased, with 24 flights (48 movements) per week as at the end of March. Currently there are four airlines operating closed charter services from the BMRA utilising the F70, F100, A320 and Dash 8 aircraft and servicing North West destinations such as Boolgeeda, Barimunya, West Angeles, Newman, Roy Hill and Karratha.


The total number of aircraft landings has steadily increased during the period with some monthly variations mainly due to light and general aviation traffic.  The total aircraft landings during the reporting period from July 2021 – February 2022 was 7662 compared to 6020 for the same period 2020/21.



Passenger Numbers

Overall passenger numbers have increased by 40% (40,205) for the reporting period compared to same period for 2020/21 (28,661), which was a 34% increase from 2019/20 (21,410).  This can be attributed to increases in FIFO passenger numbers across all closed charter airlines including Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, Alliance Airlines and Network Aviation servicing Rio Tinto, BHP and FMG.







Currently 1423 FIFO passengers have been provided swipe cards to access the BMRA car park at a discounted rate. The average daily occupancy for the reporting period was 340 parked patrons per day. The public car park has now reached capacity on 3 occasions and Officers are proposing a temporary car parking solution while an extension to the new public car park is constructed. The proposal is to fence off approximately 9000m2 of the southern general aviation apron for FIFO passenger use and line mark up to 300 car parks, install boom gates and a temporary pay system.  This would leave the public car park for RPT passengers and other visitors to the Airport. A drawing of the proposed area is included below.


Temp. FIFO car parking



The focus for the reporting period has been on:

·        Support for the LATS (Large Aerial Tanker Support) operations;

·        Airside and landside mowing program;

·        Apron lighting – this project has been completed however one lighting pole was identified as being unsafe and removed from the central apron. A replacement pole is being ordered; 

·        The City’s Facilities team completed a maintenance and painting program for the Arrivals Hall and Terminal building prior to the arrival of the Jetstar flights;

·        A revised Transport Security Program was submitted to the Department of Home Affairs for approval;

·        Noise monitoring at two locations (Reinscourt and Kalgup) to capture closed charter and RPT operations;

·        A review of the Noise Management Plan including public consultation was conducted from November 2021 through to January 2022 with a report submitted to the CEO of the Environmental Protection Authority in early April

·        Preparation for the commencement of Jetstar RPT services - this required prioritisation of a large number of operational readiness activities including equipment servicing and maintenance, a revised Transport Security Program submission, mobilisation of the security screening team and landside activities such as wayfinding signage, car parking and provision of information for the public.



FIFO passenger numbers through the BMRA have continued to increase significantly in comparison to the same period last year and officers expect passenger numbers to continue to increase as FIFO recruitment and employment from the South West continues. 


The Jetstar Busselton- Melbourne flights commenced on the 6 April 2022 with a celebratory event to welcome the inaugural flight. Invited guests and VIPs attended the event hosted by the City of Busselton in the Arrivals Hall, with Federal Government Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories Nola Marino MP, Deputy Premier Roger Cook MLA, Minister for Regional Development; Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan MLA, Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans and senior executives attending from Tourism WA, Australia’s South West and South West Development Commission, as well as the City’s Mayor, Councillors and CEO.


The Jetstar flights are seen as a significant achievement by the City of Busselton that will result in increased tourism, economic benefits and opportunities for the South West. The Jetstar flights are scheduled for three times a week and, as of the 20 April 2022, there had been seven return flights from Melbourne with an average occupancy of 97% for arriving flights and 95% for departing flights.


Not unexpectedly, there were some ‘teething’ problems and operational limitations identified which have impacted on Jetstar turn-around times. The following key issues have been identified with officers working hard on solutions;

·        The sterile departure lounge is at capacity for A320 operations;

·        An additional check-in desk / injector belt is required for Jetstar flights;

·        The baggage handling system (baggage conveyor belts) design is susceptible to blockages and  alarms;

·        An additional boarding counter and service desk is required;

·        There are some screening lane deficiencies (additional rollerbeds are required);

·        CBS X-ray screening processes - service request submitted with supplier for software settings review.


In addition, improvements are required in relation to the following to improve ground handling operations and customer experience at the BMRA:

·        Airport inspection, maintenance and reporting tablet/onine system;

·        Increased ground handling equipment storage areas;

·        Additional airline offices and training rooms for aircraft and airline accreditation;

·        Staff toilets, showers and changing room facilities;

·        Additional public car parking;

·        Wayfinding and direction signage;

·        Replacement apron lighting pole - the pole removed from Central apron, Bay 9 is restricting night operations.


Statutory Environment

The BMRA operates in accordance with the following:

·        Aviation Transport Security Act 2004;

·        Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005;

·        CASA part 139 Manual of Standards (Aerodromes);

·        City of Busselton Transport Security Plan;

·        Ministerial Statement 1088;

·        City policies and procedures.

Relevant Plans and Policies

The officer recommendation aligns to the following adopted plans:

·        BMRA Master Plan (2016-2036).

·        The BMRA operates under the Busselton Margaret River Airport Noise Management Plan 2019.


Financial Implications


Actual YTD revenue for the reporting period is $1,673,486 compared to the YTD budget of $1,707,710, noting that security screening revenue has not been realised due to the delay in the Jetstar flights. Excluding the security screening revenue, YTD actual budget ($1,673,486) is tracking higher than the YTD budget ($1,427,855) with the key revenue areas contributing towards this being airport landing fees, sundry income and car parking income.



Actual YTD expenditure for the reporting period is $1,110,098 (including commitments) compared to the YTD Budget of $1,055,233, not including security screening costs and the airline attraction program which have not been incurred due to the delay in the Jetstar flights.  Higher expenditure for the reporting period can mainly be attributed to higher wages costs, expenditure in landside maintenance, equipment servicing, car parking line marking and directional and information signage in preparation for the Jetstar flights.


Other operational expenditure that is likely to impact the end of year operating result is increased cleaning schedules and waste collection. Any overspend (expenditure) can be offset by increased revenue streams. Further the BMRA is self-funded from Airport specific reserves and hence does not impact municipal budget bottom line.


Airport Staff are working through costing a number of operational and capital works improvements to be considered for inclusion in the 2022/23 financial year budget which will be the subject of a separate report once all costings have been received and verified.   


Stakeholder Consultation

Consultation has been occurring on a regular basis with Department of Transport, Government agencies, airport stakeholders, Department of Home Affairs, Aviation Marine Security (AMS), Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Air Services Australia, Virgin Australia Regional Airline, Qantas Group, the Busselton Aero Club, Albany, Esperance, Geraldton Airports and Australian Airports Association, concerning many topics and issues relating to the Airport.


Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place.

No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified.



The Airport Advisory Committee may choose not to receive and note the Airport Operations Report.


Officers continue to strive to provide a high level of customer service at the BMRA, while ensuring the airport is compliant, safe and security is maintained throughout.  The commencement of Jetstar RPT services has identified a number of operational actions and infrastructure investment requirements.


With the recent focus on preparing for Jetstar RPT services, officers have not as yet sought quotations to prepare a new BMRA Master Plan, and business development initiatives have also been deferred. A separate report on this Airport Advisory Committee agenda seeks Council’s endorsement for a resource to help progress the business development opportunities at the BMRA.


Not applicable.



Airport Advisory Committee                                            17                                                                      27 April 2022

7.               General Discussion Items


8.               Next Meeting Date


9.               Closure