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No change in New South Wales air routes



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FOR PRESS i

2L,5

NO CE1 NGE IN NEW SOUTH WALES AIR ROUTES

(Statement by the Minister for Civil Aviation, Mr. R.Y. Swartz, and the N.S.W. Minister for Transport, Mr. M.A. Morris.)

No justification exists at present for any change in the New South

Wales intrastate air route allocation.

This is the major finding of a Commonwealth-State expert committee

after a 12 month review of intrastate air services in New South Wales.

Two intrastate airlines 'Operate in New South Wales - East-West

Airlines and Airlines of New South Wales.

The committee of review comprised the New South Wales Commissioner

for Transpert (Mr. R.D. Coleman) and Department of Civil Aviation's First

Assistant Director-General (Policy), Mr. R.D. Phillips.

The committee based its findings on extensive evidence from both

airlines on all aspects of airline operations within New South Wales.

The Commonwealth and New South Males Governments last reviewed

New South Wales air routes in 1965.

Following that review five New South Wales country airports were

taken from Airlines of Nei South Wales and transferred to East-West Airlines.

The Minister for Civil Aviation (Mr. R.V7. Swartz) and the New South

Wales Minister for Transport (Mr. M.A. Morris) today announced the results

of the committee's review.

The committee concluded among other things that !-There was no justification at present for transferring to East-West Airlines any port now served by Airlines of New South Wales

or vice versa.

• Existing intrastate air services were meeting the public need,

comfort and convenience adequately - with regard to limits

imposed by the economics of air operations.

• No scope existed at this stage for competitive operations

between East-West Airlines and Airlines of New South Wales.

The Ministers said that the committee had also concluded that since

the present "shares" became effective on November 22, 1965, both airline

companies had :-

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• Maintained profitable services within New South Wales. • Phased out DC.3's from regular service.

• Modernised their fleets with Fokker Friendship aircraft at

considerable cost.

• Made adequate provision for renewals despite the severe

drought in many of the areas they served.

The Committee accepted as a future possibility that pure jets might

operate on some services to country areas. But the information available

was not sufficient to enable it to state when this would happen if, in

fact, it did.

They added that the committee had als • considered most carefully a

submission from East-West Airlines that Trans Australia Airlines should

stop carrying passengers between Albury and Sydney.

East-West Air.ines had contended that this was an intrastate operation

but it had produced no legal authority for its view.

To the. committee. it 'seamed- that =the:. only • 1fnes-, -of action available

to EastWe9t- .-Airlines-:-ta challenge • TA's• right wore litigation or negotiation.

Sowe^re?r - the >legaI questions-:involved .: i ri considering. whether-,: -this

TAA operation breached either its own charter under the Australian National

Airlines Act or thQ.New South Wales Transport Act were complex a `nd ones which

the committee believed that only the Courts could decide.

As to the possibility of negotiation, the committee noted the public

announcement that the New South Wales Premier and the New South Wales Minister

for Transport would make direct approaches to the Prime Minister and the

Minister for Civil Aviation to have TL. stopped from carrying Albury-Sydney

passengers.

In those circumstances it had decided to offer no comment.

The Ministers said that the committee had nct been required to reach

a finding on the place of the commuter service in the intrastate air route

pattern in New South Wales because these services had been introduced after

its appointment.

However, as commuter services had been regarded as relevant to the

overall view of-air transport in New South Wales the committee had had to

consider their. operations, -

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Its finding was that commuter services had been of material

assistance to air travellers and were a welcome and valuable adjunct

to air services.

The Ministers said that the committee's report would be presented

to both Governments.

CANB RRA

APRIL 3, 1966.