Bundaberg Regional Council has extended COVID-relief measures for some airport tenants until the end of 2020.
A report presented at today’s Council meeting says commercial operations inside the terminal continue to suffer revenue losses because of reduced flights.
Council’s airport portfolio spokesman, Cr Greg Barnes, said it was appropriate to extend the waiver of charges for the café operator and display advertising.
“During the quarter ending September 2020, fewer than 15 per cent as many airline passengers travelled through Bundaberg Regional Airport as during the same quarter last year,” Cr Barnes said.
“We do not expect numbers to return to more than 30 per cent of pre-COVID before the end of 2020.
“Historically, approximately 50 per cent of Bundaberg passengers travel interstate or internationally. State border closures are therefore a critical factor in determining airline passenger numbers.”
As part of the Mayor’s COVID-relief package earlier this year, Council assisted commercial tenants at the airport by waiving aviation charges and rent for six months ending 30 September 2020.
“Most council airport tenants are now conducting business as usual,” Cr Barnes said.
“However, several have written to request ongoing support, citing a direct relationship between their incomes and the number of airline passengers travelling.
“Despite early indication of slow recovery in passenger numbers, the outlook is very uncertain. It is unlikely that the café operator and advertising will be able to reach break-even during the remainder of 2020.”
Cr Barnes said the reopening of state borders before Christmas, as foreshadowed by National Cabinet, should result in increased air travel and more passengers travelling through Bundaberg Airport.
Council resolved to extend the COVID-19 support until December 2020 for the cafe and advertising agency at a cost of $8439 in lost revenue.