As the COVID-crisis continues to ravage the aviation sector, the Morrison Government must urgently guarantee that Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS) capabilities and workers’ jobs are protected through this crisis and into the future.
ARFFS is embedded within Air Services Australia, a government-owned corporation normally funded through fees and charges applied to airline services.
With airlines grounded, income received by Air Services Australia has plummeted.
Despite reductions in flights, ARFFS crews are still required to work around the clock ensuring that parked aircraft and significant fuel stores are kept safe.
The Morrison Government provided some additional funding to Air Services Australia earlier in the pandemic, but assurances are needed regarding ongoing support.
Australia will need our airports and aviation sector to respond quickly as travel restrictions are eased and services resume. To ensure that airports, parked aircraft and fuel supplies are kept safe, funding for fire fighting capability must be maintained by the Government to ensure rapid response to any unforeseen incident on an airport.
Labor has written to the Deputy Prime Minister seeking these assurances.