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Coronavirus: Government announces details of funding for aviation industry

Mar 19, 2020

The government has announced details of a $600m bailout for the aviation sector.

It focuses on funding services the aviation industry normally pays for itself, such as security screening, and puts border fee rises on hold.

The relief package was announced in the $12.1b Covid-19 economic response on Tuesday.

It includes $163m to help airlines pay passenger-based government charges.

The sole provider of air traffic services, Airways, will receive $70m as revenue falls.

Airlines will receive $37m to cover air traffic control fees.

Any fee rises or pricing reviews from agencies that charge fees at the border have been put on hold for 12 months.

Phil Twyford said the support was aimed to help keep money in the pockets of airlines and airports which have suffered in the wake of Covid-19.

"We are moving quickly to help by stepping in to fund things like traffic control and security screening that the aviation industry normally pay themselves and stopping any increases to fees for the next year.

"This package will see the government temporarily fund these services while airlines experience customer decline," Twyford said.

"These first steps are designed to ensure the essentials of the aviation system continue to run, help keep airlines in New Zealand and encourage them to increase services faster during the eventual recovery."

The aim was to ensure red tape wasn't stopping airlines from ramping services back up when international conditions improve, he said.

"This is just the start and further initiatives will be developed with the sector to keep critical air freight flowing and our airports open."

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