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Commission Invites Feedback On Its Initial Views Of Wellington Airport’s Pricing Decisions

The Commerce Commission is inviting feedback on its initial views, released today, about Wellington Airport’s pricing decisions for specified airport services, such as aircraft parking or airfield and passenger terminal charges, for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2024.

Under Part 4 of the Commerce Act, Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch International Airports must publish financial information about key facilities and services. The Commission reviews this information and shares its views on pricing decisions with stakeholders to improve stakeholder understanding of the information it collects about expected profitability and other areas of airport performance. This form of regulation is known as “information disclosure regulation”.

The Commission’s paper sets out its initial views on the information provided by Wellington Airport (Wellington International Airport Limited). The Commission is inviting feedback from stakeholders on whether the disclosed information highlights any areas of concern about the decisions made by the Airport.

In previous airport pricing reviews, the Commission has tested stakeholder views on airports’ expected profitability, pricing efficiency and investment through consultation on a process and issues paper prior to releasing its draft conclusions for comment. This year, in light of the significant impacts of COVID-19 on the industry, the Commission has shortened the consultation process in order to reduce the burden on stakeholders.

Associate Commissioner Vhari McWha says, “Our initial analysis focuses on the most material aspects of the pricing decision and enabling input from stakeholders before finalising our views.”

The Commission’s review of Wellington Airport’s pricing for the period was originally scheduled for 2019 but was delayed to enable the Airport to focus on completing its long-term capital expenditure planning consultation. It was further delayed because of the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions.

The consultation paper is available on the Commission’s website. Submissions can be made to infrastructure.regulation@comcom.govt.nz and close on Friday, 10 June 2022.

Background

The disclosure of information about pricing is the fourth of its kind for Wellington Airport since information disclosure requirements were set under Part 4. The first was in 2006, with the second in 2011 and the third in 2015. The Commission undertook a review of the effectiveness of the information disclosure regime for airports in 2013, which can be found here.

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