About the Commission

Role of the Commission | Members of the Commission | The Secretariat

Role of the Commission

The Commission was established under the International Air Services Commission Act 1992. The object of the Act is to enhance the welfare of Australians by promoting economic efficiency through competition in the provision of international air services, resulting in:

  • increased responsiveness by airlines to the needs of consumers, including an increased range of choices and benefits; and
  • growth in Australian tourism and trade; and
  • the maintenance of Australian carriers capable of competing effectively with airlines of foreign countries

The Commission's role is to determine the outcomes of applications by existing and prospective Australian airlines for capacity and route entitlements available under air services arrangements. These determinations allocate the available capacity on a route to one or more carriers and set conditions, where these are considered appropriate. The Commission may conduct a review of a determination at any time, either at the request of the carrier concerned or if the Commission believes that there may be grounds for doing so. The Commission is also responsible for reviewing determinations after a specified period and providing advice to the Minister for Transport about any matter referred to the Commission by the Minister concerning international air operations.

In allocating capacity, the Commission assesses the merits of claims by applicants under specified public benefit criteria. These criteria are detailed in Policy Statements issued, from time to time, by the Minister.

The Government, through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, continues to have the responsibility for administering and negotiating Australia's air services arrangements. In this role, the Department is responsible for maintaining a Register of Available Capacity for use by the Commission and applicants. This register details the capacity available under each air services arrangement, and is updated to reflect changes in capacity entitlements arising from new negotiations and determinations by the Commission. The Department is also responsible for making operational decisions that authorise carriers to fly on each route based on the Commission's determinations.

Members of the Commission

The Commission is comprised of a Chairperson and a Member, appointed on a part-time basis. Its office in Canberra is assisted by a small Secretariat.

Dr Ian Douglas, Chairperson

Dr Ian DouglasDr Ian Douglas was appointed by the Governor-General as Chairperson of the Commission for a three-year period commencing on 5 May 2016. He has been a Member of the Commission since November 2012. Prior to his appointment by the Governor-General, he was appointed by the Minister as Acting Chairperson from October 2015 to May 2016.

Dr Douglas is a Senior Lecturer in Aviation Management in the School of Aviation at the University of New South Wales. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration and a post graduate qualification in Higher Education.

His doctoral research addressed the impacts of state ownership and economic freedom on airline financial performance. His ongoing research interests encompass the areas of air transport economics and airline business model convergence.

Prior to academia Dr Douglas had a long career with Qantas Airways, with senior roles in pricing, business development, route management, strategic planning and the Joint Services Agreement with British Airways.

Since leaving Qantas, he has consulted to a range of companies including Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways International, Bain & Co Singapore, Icebox Advertising, Asian Wings Airways and Tourism Queensland.

His teaching areas at UNSW Aviation include fleet and network planning, marketing and distribution strategy, and air transport economics.

Mr John King, Member

Mr John KingMr John King attended Melbourne University and the Australian National University where he graduated in Law. He had a 20-year career at Ansett including positions in human resources, international sales, industry affairs before establishing the Pacific Airlines Division. This division operated Air Vanuatu, Polynesian Airlines and Ansett's own Pacific services.

In 1986, Mr King established the Aviation and Tourism Management Pty Ltd, a consultancy providing strategic and policy guidance to airlines, governments and the tourism industries. Clients included the World Bank for whom he performed studies in Africa, Central Asia, the Caucuses, South East Asia and the South Pacific. For the World Tourism Organisation he worked extensively in China and the Pacific.

Aviation clients included Continental Airlines, Thai Airways, International, Gulf Air, Air Malta, Cathay Pacific Airways and British Airways.

Advice to governments was focussed on the tourism—aviation interface and he developed a number of specific carrier attraction strategies.

In 1999, he was appointed Chairman of the Travel Compensation Fund where he served for seven years. In 2007, he was appointed Chairman of the ASX-listed travel agency group, Jetset Travelworld Ltd, and served for two and half years before retiring.

Mr King holds a Master's Degree in Transport Management from the University of Sydney where he serves on the Board of Advice of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies.

He is a member of the Air Transport Research Society, the German Aviation Research Society and a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.

Commission Chairpersons and Members since 1992

The following table sets out the Chairpersons and Members of the Commission since the Commission was founded in 1992.

Stuart Fowler July 1992 to
April 1993
Brian Johns July 1992 to
June 1997
James Bain July 1993 to
June 1998
Russell Miller July 1992 to
June 1998
Russell Miller July 1998 to
January 2000
Michael Lawriwsky December 1997 to February 2007
Michael Lawriwsky and Stephen Lonergan (Members presiding at alternate meetings) January 2000 to August 2000 Stephen Lonergan August 1998 to August 2004
Ross Jones August 2000 to August 2003 Vanessa Fanning November 2004 to November 2007
John Martin November 2003 to November 2009 Philippa Stone July 2007 to July 2010
Philippa Stone and Ian Smith (Members presiding at alternate meetings) November 2009 to June 2010 Ian Smith November 2007 to February 2011
Ian Smith and Stephen Bartos (Members presiding at alternate meetings) July 2010 to February 2011
Jill Walker 9 February 2011 to 11 August 2014 Stephen Bartos 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2013
Ian Douglas and John King (Members presiding at alternate meetings) September 2014 to present Ian Douglas 8 November 2012 to present
Ian Douglas (Acting) October 2015 to May 2016
Ian Douglas 5 May 2016 to present John King 1 July 2013 to present

The Secretariat

The Commission is assisted in its work by a small secretariat. The secretariat is staffed by officers of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. The secretariat is headed by an Executive Director, supported by a Senior Adviser and an Administrative Officer. These officers provide advice and assistance to the Commissioners on all aspects of the Commission’s operations.

Further, the Commission has delegated certain powers and functions PDF: 367 KB to the Executive Director, and in the absence of the Executive Director, the Senior Adviser. These arrangements enable the delegate to make a range of determinations and decisions on behalf of the Commissioners. Generally, these relate to cases that are straightforward. More complex matters are dealt with by the Commissioners.


Last Updated: 26 May, 2016