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Thursday, 24 March 1966

Mr Webb b asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that MacRobertson-Miller Airlines Ltd. has a complete monopoly of all intrastate flights within Western Australia?

2.   Has the Ansett group a 70 per cent, controlling interest in this company?

3.   Does this company also control all flights between Darwin and Perth

4.   Is it a fact that, with the exception of the flight between Darwin and Perth, passengers flying between .ill other capital cities have the choice of travelling by either Trans-Australia Airlines or Ansett-A.N.A.?

5.   Has T.A.A. applied for a licence to operate between Darwin and Perth; if so, what is the attitude of the Department to granting this licence?

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

1.   If the question refers to scheduled airline flights the answer is yes.

2.   I believe so.

3.   MacRobertson Miller Airlines Ltd. is the only airline operating scheduled services between Darwin and Perth.

4.   Yes.

5.   Yes - the application was refused.

Aerodromes in Western Australia. (Question No. 1550.)

Mr Collard d asked the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -

1.   How many local governing authorities in Western Australia are parties to the local ownership plan in relation to aerodromes?

2.   Are those authorities, in some cases, required to finance or partly finance (without refund) certain work on the aerodrome?

3.   If so, does this apply where work has to be carried oUt to meet safety requirements?

4.   What is the position in relation to the aerodrome if the local authority is not in a position to finance the work?

5.   Can the authorities withdraw from the local ownership plan; if so, what length of notice is required?

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

1.   There are twenty aerodromes in Western Australia participating in the aerodrome local ownership plan. All of these are eligible for 50 per cent, maintenance and 11 of them being owned by local authorities are also eligible for 50 per cent, of their development costs.

2.   Local authorities under the aerodrome local ownership plan are required to finance 50 per cent, of the development work which they themselves propose, if these works are mutually agreeable to the local authority and the Commonwealth. In this case the Commonwealth makes a grant to cover the remaining 50 per cent. The Commonwealth and the local authority share the maintenance on a 50/50 basis, lt is usual in the case of both maintenance and development works for the council to carry out the works and make progress claims on the Commonwealth for payment.

3.   Safety requirements would be associated wilh maintenance of an existing facility; it would not be associated with development since aircraft would not be permitted to operate at an aerodrome which did not already have the level of facilities required for its safe operation. The local authority and the Commonwealth would share this maintenance cost on a 50/50 basis. The provision and maintenance of airways facilities required for the safe operation of aircraft such as navigational aids, air traffic control and communications facilities and aerodrome lighting are carried out by the Commonwealth and financed fully by the Commonwealth.

4.   The local ownership plan provides for the 50/50 sharing of both maintenance and development costs by the Commonwealth and the local authority. There are no cases of which my department is aware where a local authority has been unable financially to meet the cost of works necessary to maintain an aerodrome in a safe and usable condition. There have been a few cases where an aerodrome has been temporarily closed to aircraft due to a temporary lack of maintenance effort on the part of the local authority or has been due to local factors such as poor natural surface materials or prolonged drought.

5.   Yes. It is for the local authority itself to say whether its aerodrome and the benefit which it derives from it are such as to justify the continuation of operations of the aerodrome, with the help of the 50 per cent, contribution from the Commonwealth towards the cost of the operation. If the local authority does not consider these benefits to be worth the cost to them, the aerodrome could be closed. We have not had any examples of this. The length of notice required would vary from place to place and would be directly concerned with schedules and frequency of airline operation or other civil aviation operations which take place at the aerodrome.

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