21 - 22 March 2017 | Swissotel Sydney, NSW Australia

Conference Day One: Tuesday, 21 March 2017


09:00 - 09:10 Opening Remarks by IQPC Australia and the Conference Chair

Bill Burke - CEO Mildura Airport

Bill Burke

Mildura Airport

09:10 - 09:50 CASE STUDY: The Process Behind the Planning and Construction of Busselton-Margaret Regional River Airport Development Project

The Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport (BMRRA) is a key infrastructure development and will be a game changer for the region; stimulating and driving economic and social growth. Officially renamed the ‘Busselton-Margaret River Regional Airport’ to capitalise on the internationally recognised Margaret River Region, the rebranding of the Airport comes as its facilities undergo a $69.7 million expansion, made possible with an investment of $9.78 million from the Australian Government, $45.9 million from the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, $10 million form Department of Transport’s Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) program, $3.5 million from the City of Busselton, $300,000 from the South West Development Commission, and $250,000 from Tourism Western Australia. This session will include:
  • The strategy and process to secure commonwealth, state and local government funding
  • BMRRA Master Plan and the Development Project
  • Stakeholder engagement and communications strategy to ensure community buy-in

09:50 - 10:30 How Airports and Regional Councils can work with Tourism Groups to Increase Regional Airport Flights

$18.8 billion in tourist spend occurs in regional Australia, and Chinese tourism is expected to inject an additional $13 billion into the Australian economy by 2020. Simon Latchford will discuss how Visit Sunshine Coast working together with regional airports can be beneficial to both parties as well as some of the lessons he’s learned about marketing tourist destinations. In this session Simon will discuss:
  • How new partnerships between tourist groups, airlines, and regional airports can be brokered
  • How a tourist group tends to choose which region would make an appropriate place to market to
  • How communities and airports can work together to make their community a tourist destination

Cnr Cameron O'Neil

Portfolio Chair for Economic Development and Advocacy, Facilities, Airports
Maranoa Regional Council

11:00 - 11:20 Speed Networking

An effectively structured interactive session designed to help you expand your network through one-on-one focused conversations. Bring your business cards!


11:50 - 12:30 CASE STUDY: How Master Planning was used to Attract Government Funding at Mildura Airport

Bill Burke - CEO Mildura Airport
Mildura Airport receives around 216,500 passengers per year and is one of the busiest airports in Victoria. Master Planning isn’t just useful for strategizing its future operations and processes. It has also demonstrated economic and regional importance to local, state and federal governments, thereby securing funds. This topic will discuss:
  • Updating long-term plans to be more flexible against insecurity
  • Incorporating land-side development to diversify revenue streams
  • Discussing the importance of stakeholder consultation for community buy-in and council support

Bill Burke

Mildura Airport

12:30 - 13:10 PANEL DISCUSSION: How Airports and Local Councils can Prepare for the Future Together

Robert Evans - CEO Nelson Airport NZ
This panel will bring together both airport managers and their patrons, local councils, to review and discuss current economic conditions and future instability. In doing so it will explore how each side can work together and discuss such questions as:
  • How can local councils shape master plans to incorporate airports into regional development?
  • What are some of the ways in which airports can consult with councils to receive stakeholder feedback?
  • How can local councils assist in airport compliance with CASA safety requirements and OH&S regulation?

Robert Evans

Nelson Airport NZ


14:10 - 14:50 CASE STUDY: Ballina-Byron Bay Airport’s Growth, Development and Future

Neil Weatherson - Airport Manager Ballina-Byron Airport
Ballina-Byron Bay airport has been able to grow its number of flights from 250 000 to 500 000 passengers per year and up to 58 jets per week taking off. Moreover, the airport will be trying to building on this growth in the next decade by investing $14 million into its redevelopment. This session will review:
  • The process behind airline route agreements and the airport’s willingness to compromise in order to secure relationships
  • Promotions strategies to better market Ballina-Byron Bay airport
  • Tactics for providing consistent service and thus engaging stakeholders

Neil Weatherson

Airport Manager
Ballina-Byron Airport

14:50 - 15:30 How the Fly-In Fly-Out Workforce Has Changed the Aviation Landscape in Australia

Merren McArthur - CEO Virgin Australian Cargo and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines
  • Comparing RPT versus charter business model
  • FIFO travellers - the hidden frequent flyer
  • Riding the resources boom/bust cycle for sustainability
  • Implications for Regional Airports

Merren McArthur

Virgin Australian Cargo and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines


16:00 - 16:40 Focusing on Landside Development to Expand Sources of Revenue

On average, major airports, and major regional airports generate 44% of their revenue from landside sources. However, only 25% of revenue for regional and remote airports is sourced from landside assets. Non-aeronautical developments can vary from hotels, to freight and shipping centres, hospitals or shopping outlets. However this session will discuss:
  • Using land-side development as an opportunity to demonstrate community value and receive government funding
  • The types of developments that lead to the largest job creation, the most community use, or have the quickest return on investment
  • Communicating and working in conjunction with local councils to improve chances of permit approval

16:40 - 17:20 Champagne Solutions Clinic

Assisted by free flowing champagne, bounce ideas off your peers and debate or discuss solutions to the challenges that keep you up at night. Choose one person at your table to record the discussion and then at the end of the session stand-up and deliver the discussed challenges and solutions to the audience. We shall keep note of all the recorded discussion and all attendees will be able to access it after the event.