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Thursday, 5 December 1974

Mr Snedden asked the Minister for Manufacturing Industry, upon notice:

(1)   How many light aircraft have been (a) built or (b) commissioned for construction in Australia since 2 December 1972.

(2)   Where have they been built and for what purpose, and where are they operating at the present time.

(3)   In respect of those under construction or commissioned for construction, where are they being built and for what purpose, and where will they operate.

(4)   What were the comparative figures for the corresponding preceding period.

Mr Enderby - The answer to the right honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   (a) Forty-one, comprising 22 Airtruks, 1 Nomad and 18 Bell 206B-1 light observation helicopters. (b) Fifty-two, comprising 2 Airtruks and SO Nomads.

(2)   The Airtruk is built by the Transavia Company at Seven Hills, Sydney, Airtruk is designed for agricultural use, such as crop dusting and aerial spreading of fertilizers. It is presently operating in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and Thailand.

The Nomad is manufactured by the Government Aircraft Factories at Fishermen's Bend, Melbourne. Nomad is designed for commercial and military markets. The one aircraft that has been built is the first production aircraft; it is due to commence operations early in 1975 as a marketing demonstrator for Government Aircraft Factories.

The Bell 206B- 1 light observation helicopter is built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd at Fishermen's Bend under contract to Bell Helicopter Australia Pty Ltd. Fifteen of the helicopters are being operated by the Australian Army and Navy in Australia and Papua New Guinea, for observation, reconnaissance, training and limited freight and passenger transport; the other three are currently held by Bell.

(3)   They are continuing batches of the aircraft already built: the Airtruks are being built for potential future sales; the Nomads are for commercial and military sales.

(4)   Ten light aircraft were built (8 Airtruks and 2 Nomad prototypes), and 211 were commissioned (20 Nomads and 191 Bell 206B-1 helicopters). The number of helicopters has since been reduced to 56.

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