Conference paper

Regional aviation clusters and their real property parameters – an Australian-based survey and its wider implications

Airports Business enterprises Regional planning Sunshine Coast

Australia’s capital city airports are recognised as critical pieces of infrastructure and as major economic nodes in their own right. Much less is known about the larger regional airports which also provide key transportation links and typically support business clusters and land uses related to aviation and aeronautics. Purpose: This paper reports on a recently completed survey of businesses adjacent to airport facilities in an Australian region to ascertain locational determinants, key characteristic clusters and their tenure and lease issues. Methodology: The research is based on a literature review, the inputs of key informants, and structured faceto-face interviews with practically all business in the cluster. Findings: The research would indicate that, while there is an obvious physical need for many of these businesses to be located with access to aircraft and tarmac facilities, the link between the resident firms may not be as strong as it might appear. Further, the almost inherent volatility of the general aviation sector results in special and sometimes difficult property and lease dealings with the airport owners. Implications: Major regional airports, their airline operations and general aviation clusters in Australia share many common characteristics in function, operations and property dealings/clusters. It would therefore be reasonable to expect that the findings from this research would also have implications to provide support for such economic clusters or for the management of property resources at the numerous similar facilities in 
Australia, New Zealand and across the wider Asia Pacific. 

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