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Wednesday, 16 September 1936

Senator DUNCAN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - HUGHES. - What the honorable senator said applied also to the day service and the desirability of not flying over country where no suitable landing grounds are provided. When weather conditions are unfavorable pilots make a wider circuit in flying to Canberra. When an aeroplane is flying at 8,000 feet the suitability of landing places is not of great importance, because if a machine were forced down from that height only a clever pilot could effect a satisfactory landing. I believe that an attempt is made by pilots to safeguard passengers by varying the route according to weather conditions.

Senator Hardy - I am thinking more particularly of light beacons.

Senator DUNCAN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - HUGHES. - A great deal can be said in favour of the installation of light beacons at certain points, but when an aeroplane is flying above the clouds lights are of no help. At present, the bulk of flying is done by day, and not by night.

The only other point I wish to stress is that mentioned by Senator Hardy in connexion with the selection of suitable sites for aerodromes. Some time ago I read an interesting book by Professor Webster, of Cambridge University, on the subject of noise. Until I read it, I knew nothing of the technical side of the subject, although we all know something about it in a general way, and probably have all come to substantially the same conclusions. Objectionable noises are made bv some motor cycles, by rivetting and drilling machines, and by aeroplanes, particularly at night. Professor Webster deals with the subject in a brief and lucid way, awd I recommend his hook, which is in the Parliamentary Library, to honorable senators. He is fully conversant with what ha3 been said and done recently in this connexion. One of the conclusions which he . reached is that it is most desirable that there should be some well-considered plan for selecting landing grounds for aeroplanes. He puts it in this way: generally speaking, aeroplanes serve capital cities where there are great numbers of inhabitants, and the noise, particularly at night, causes trouble and unnecessary annoyance to many people. I passed on the suggestion to the Minister for Defence because I feel convinced that, although it may appear rather pernickety, there is a good deal in it. Greater care should be exercised in selecting landing grounds, otherwise hundreds of thousands of persons may be seriously and unnecessarily inconvenienced.

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