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Thursday, 18 July 1946

Mr Barnard (BASS, TASMANIA) d" asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -

1.   What is the capital value of aerodromes and controls in Australia used by operating airline companies?

2.   What fees, if any, are paid by civil airlines for the use of aerodromes owned by the Commonwealth ?

3.   Bo these operating companies contribute any payment for the meteorological services provided by the Government?

4.   Is it proposed to instal radar equipment on civil aerodromes; if so, when itis operating will this navigating aid be provided free to the operating companies who use it?

Mr Drakeford - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   On the assumption that the honorable member, in referring to controls, had in mind air navigation aids; the answer is that the capital value of Commonwealth Government aerodromes, including buildings provided for civil aviation purposes, as at the 30th June, 1945, was approximately £3,700,000. The air navigation aids provided for civil aviation purposes represented approximately £1,100,000. In addition, there are aerodromes and buildings provided forRoyal Australian Air Force and Directorate of Aircraft Production purposes at a cost of approximately £6,100,000, which will be of value for civil aviation.

2.   To date, it has not been the policy of the Commonwealth Government to impose landing fees for the use of Commonwealth landing grounds, this attitude being based on the desire to assist civil aviation during its early years. It is considered, however, that air transport operators are now in a position to contribute towards the cost of these facilities, and consideration is being given to imposing an equitable scale of charges for land fees and use of facilities. Operators do, however, pay rentals for building allotments on civil aerodromes and for Commonwealth buildings thereon and the revenue from this source for the year ended the 30th June, 1946, was approximately £12,000.

3.   No. In drawing up the scale of landing fees and charges for use of air navigation aids to which I have referred in answer to question No. 2, consideration will be given to including a component on account of meteorological services.

4.   Tests of experimental radar equipment are now being conducted and, if these are successful, it is probable that such equipment will be installed on civil aerodromes. In that event, consideration will also be given to including in the scale of charges to operating companies a component on account of the radar equipment installed.

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