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Australian aviation: the Coalition aiming even higher.



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MARK VAILE ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Parliament House Phone: +61 2 6277 7680

Canberra ACT 2600

Deputy Prime Minister Leader of The Nationals

Wednesday 14 November 2007

AUSTRALIAN AVIATION ‐ THE COALITION AIMING EVEN HIGHER

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Mark Vaile, today announced that a re-elected Coalition Government will establish an Australian Aviation Technical College, a regional airline pilot scholarship scheme and a new cadet pilot programme to provide a jobs pathway for young Australians into the exciting aviation sector.

Mr Vaile said the Coalition will also provide funding to assist the aviation industry to investigate further ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“As an island nation Australia is heavily reliant on air transport for the movement of passengers and trade, while regional Australia depends on aviation for so much including medical needs, commerce and social links,” Mr Vaile said.

“As a result of the Coalition’s policies and initiatives over many years, the Australian aviation industry is experiencing strong growth, record passenger numbers and unprecedented development in airport infrastructure.”

Industry growth is creating great demand for skilled and qualified aviation professionals, from pilots to aircraft maintenance engineers and air traffic controllers.

“A re-elected Coalition Government will establish a Regional Airline Pilot Scholarship Scheme to encourage pilots to work in regional airlines across Australia,” Mr Vaile announced.

Under the Scheme, a Coalition Government will invest $9 million to reimburse up to 25 per cent of the training costs for pilots if they remain with a nominated regional airline continuously for a period of two years.

“While there is significant interest in aviation, many people, particularly school students, are unsure about how to pursue a career in the industry,” Mr Vaile said.

“A re-elected Coalition Government will also encourage high school students to pursue a career in aviation by investing $250,000 in a programme run in partnership with Royal Australian Aero Clubs.

“The funding will subsidise a cadet pilot certificate course to be run by interested local Aero Clubs.”

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Mr Vaile also announced that a re-elected Coalition Government will help more Australian students to pursue their dream career in aviation by establishing an Australian Aviation Technical College.

“The new Australian Aviation Technical College, to be established in close proximity to Perth Airport, will complement the already committed Australian Technical College campus in Nowra, which will have a focus on aviation trade training,” Mr Vaile said.

“These two campuses will be two of the 30 new stand-alone Australian Technical Colleges announced by the Prime Minister on 29 October 2007.

“The College at Perth Airport will enable up to 200 year 11 and 12 students each year to undertake studies towards year 12 qualifications, while gaining one third of their apprenticeship in an aviation field, including avionics and aircraft maintenance.”

Mr Vaile said the Coalition recognised that, while aviation as a whole contributed only an estimated two percent of global carbon emissions, government needed to work in partnership with industry to address emissions in a way that didn’t threaten jobs.

“The Coalition has introduced a range of measures to reduce aviation greenhouse emissions including: improving fuel efficiency through more flexible flight tracks; improving aircraft air traffic control sequencing; more efficient runway use; and continuous descent approaches,” Mr Vaile said.

“Our commonsense, balanced approach to climate change allows the aviation industry to go for growth.”

Mr Vaile also announced that a re-elected Coalition Government will provide $500,000 to help the aviation industry plan better infrastructure and obtain access to state-of-the-art technology to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Coalition also remains strongly committed to not investigate sites for, or build, a second Sydney airport and to maintaining the current Sydney Airport curfew and regional airline access.

“And we will continue to open up new opportunities for Australian aviation industries by encouraging more international airlines into Australia’s regional international airports, working to conclude an open-skies agreement with the United States, and continuing negotiations on an open skies agreement with the European Union.”

Contact: Tanya Cleary 02 62777680 or 0418 615 280