Airservices Australia CEO talks to airspace about the impact of the pandemic on air traffic management

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What are the lessons learned from the pandemic?

The biggest lesson for us has been the need to respond to both short-term volatility and long-term growth at the same time.

Crisis management is core to what we do as an ANSP, so we have been able to adapt quickly to the immediate impacts of the pandemic, such as creating resilience rosters.

The biggest challenge is recovering in a way that is sustainable and appropriate to meet the needs of customers moving forward. Our industry will look different when we emerge from COVID-19, and we are preparing for that operating environment now.

In that respect, the pandemic has actually sharpened our focus and opened our eyes to a different way of doing things. We are seizing on the opportunities to prepare for the future while our skies have been quieter.

What is your outlook for the years ahead given the government’s cautious schedule for reopening the border?

Our industry’s path to recovery remains uncertain as long as Australia’s international borders stay closed and domestic borders continue to be prone to sudden closure.

But we know the health of the aviation industry is at the top of the national agenda.

The speed and breadth of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the level of sustained consumer confidence will determine the rate of recovery for the aviation industry, both domestically and internationally.

We don’t anticipate a return to pre-pandemic revenues at Airservices until 2024 and as we move through this period our services will be funded through a combination of Government assistance, cost-saving measures and debt.

Read the full Q&A

Posted on: September 6, 2021

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