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Airports Price Control Draft Report

Commission preliminary view that it would recommend price controls on airfield activities at Auckland Airport

In a draft report released today, the Commerce Commission indicated that it would recommend that price controls be imposed on airfield activities at Auckland International Airport.

Commission Chair John Belgrave said that this preliminary view has been reached on the basis of information received to date. The Commission's preliminary view may be changed in its final report once it has received submissions from interested parties and their experts.

The Minister of Commerce had directed the Commission to report to him as to whether it would recommend price controls on airfield activities at Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch airports.

Mr Belgrave said that the Commission's draft report does not recommend price controls on airfield activities at Wellington and Christchurch airports.

Interested parties now have the opportunity to comment on the draft report before the Commission makes its recommendations to the Minister on November 2.

The 32-page executive summary of the draft report sets out the reasons for the Commission's recommendations. Copies are available by e-mailing airports@comcom.govt.nz and in hard copy from its Wellington office, level 7 Landcorp House 101 Lambton Quay. Copies will be available from the Commission's website www.comcom.govt.nz/price tomorrow. The full 400-page report can be obtained by e-mailing airports@comcom.govt.nz and will be on the website tomorrow.

The Commission's timetable is:

by August 10 Interested parties make submissions on draft report. by August 31 Interested parties make cross submissions. September 4-7, 10 and 12-14 Conference where interested parties can provide further information and the Commission can ask questions. The media and public can attend. November 2 Commission aims to reports to the Minister of Commerce with final recommendations as to whether price controls should be imposed.

Background

Under section 53 of the Act the Governor-General can impose price controls on specified goods or services in a market if three criteria are met. The criteria are:

* the Minister of Commerce must be satisfied that price controls should be imposed
* it must be a market in which competition is limited, and
* price controls must be necessary or desirable in the interests of users of the services.

Airfield activities are defined in the Airport Authorities Amendment Act 1997. In general terms, they are facilities and services provided to aircraft operators by the airport companies.

Ends

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