About 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, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, 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.
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.
Ms Genevieve Butler, Chairperson
On 5 August 2021, the Governor-General appointed Ms. Genevieve Butler as Chairperson of the Commission for a period of three years. The appointment is on a part-time basis.
Ms Genevieve Butler was appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development as Member of the International Air Services Commission, pursuant to subsection 48(1) of the International Air Services Commission Act 1992, with effect from 14 May 2021.
Ms Butler is a government lawyer with a broad governance background. She is currently a national Board Member and ACT President of the Association of Corporate Counsel Australia. She also serves on the ACT Brand Strategic Advisory Board and is Chair of the ACT Animal Welfare Advisory Committee. Ms Butler is a Member of the ACT Law Society’s Government Law Committee and Military Law Committee. She has previously served on the Board of Directors of Community Services #1 and is a former editor of the Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand’s periodical.
Ms Butler has provided in-house legal advice to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau since 2016. Previously, she provided legal advice and conducted litigation for the ACT Government Solicitor. She also worked as a Senior Legal Researcher in the Department of Parliamentary Services, focusing on intellectual property law, international human rights and administrative law. Ms Butler’s international career includes working in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations as External Affairs Officer, based in New York and Addis Ababa. She was also based in Brussels as Public Affairs Manager at the Australian Embassy to Belgium and Mission to the European Union and NATO.
Ms Butler holds the following degrees: Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, Master of Journalism and Bachelor of Arts. She is admitted as a practitioner of the Supreme Court of NSW and holds an Unrestricted Government Practicing Certificate from the ACT Law Society. She speaks fluent French.
Ms Jane McKeon
Ms Jane McKeon was initially appointed, pursuant to section 48 of the International Air Services Commission Act 1992 (the IASC Act), as Acting Member of the Commission by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development from 1 October to 26 December 2021. On 16 December 2021, the Governor-General appointed Ms McKeon, pursuant to section 40 of the IASC Act, for a three-year period until 15 December 2024. The appointment is on a part-time basis.
Since 2019, Ms McKeon has been a consultant providing government and regulatory affairs advisory services, principally in the aviation and tourism sectors. Prior to that, she had a long career in the airline industry.
As Group Executive – Government Relations for Virgin Australia from 2010 to 2018, Ms McKeon was responsible for advancing the airline’s interests, profile and reputation with governments, regulators and industry stakeholders in Australia and internationally. In this role, she led Virgin Australia’s engagement to influence policy and regulatory frameworks to support the airline’s strategic transformation program, which included a corporate restructuring to enable greater shareholder investment; significant expansion in the regional, freight and charter market segments; and the development of new international routes and associated commercial cooperation agreements with airline partners and tourism marketing organisations. Ms McKeon also worked with her industry counterparts to establish the Airlines for Australia and New Zealand advocacy body in 2017, serving as an inaugural Director, and was a member of the Tourism and Transport Forum Advisory Board and the International Air Transport Association Industry Affairs Committee.
From 2002 to 2010, Ms McKeon was employed by Qantas Airways. She was appointed General Manager – Government and International Relations in 2004, with responsibility for promoting the carrier’s interests in the development of Australia’s aviation and related policy settings, including at bilateral air services negotiations with other countries. Ms McKeon managed regulatory activities to safeguard access to capacity and traffic rights for Qantas’ international passenger and freighter services, and led engagement with local and overseas authorities to secure economic regulatory approvals to support Jetstar Airways’ launch as an Australian international carrier. She also represented the Qantas Group on the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, the Aeropolitical Committee of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines and the Australian Tourism Export Council.
Ms McKeon joined Ansett Australia as a graduate management trainee in 1998 and held various roles in the Commercial and Corporate Affairs divisions over the following four years.
Ms McKeon served as a Board member of the Council of Australia Latin America Relations from 2013 to 2017 and as a Commissioner of Tourism Western Australia from 2011 to 2013.
She holds Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Melbourne and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
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
|Brian Johns||July 1992 to
|James Bain||July 1993 to
|Russell Miller||July 1992 to
|Russell Miller||July 1998 to
|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 November 2015||Ian Douglas||8 November 2012 to 7 November 2015|
|Ian Douglas (Acting)||November 2015 to May 2016||John King||1 July 2013 to 31 December 2016|
|Ian Douglas||5 May 2016 to 13 August 2021||Jan Harris||24 November 2016 to 1 September 2019|
|Karen Gosling||1 November 2017 to 30 January 2021, 2 March to 29 October 2021|
|Genevieve Butler||14 May 2021 to 4 August 2021|
|Jane McKeon||1 October 2021 to present|
5 August 2021 to 4 August 2024
The Commission is assisted in its work by a small secretariat. The secretariat is staffed by officers of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. The secretariat is headed by an Executive Director, supported by a Senior Adviser and a Regulatory and 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
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.