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Democrats back air safety.

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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/295 THURSDAY 15 APRIL 2004 SENATOR LYN ALLISON AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS TRANSPORT SPOKESPERSON DEMOCRATS BACK AIR SAFETY The Australian Democrats today backed calls by the Air Traffic Controllers Union ‘Civil Air’ for a public inquiry into the New Airspace System (NAS) currently being implemented by the Government and Airservices Australia. Democrats transport spokesperson Senator Lyn Allison said “Any inquiry must be open and public, unlike the reviews to date conducted behind closed doors in the Department of Transport. The travelling public must have confidence in the safety of any new system. “The inquiry should take evidence from pilots and, in particular, from air traffic controllers as these industry experts have been completely ignored by the Government to date. And the inquiry should also examine implementation schedules and the adequacy of radar infrastructure. “The inquiry could also consider which authority is the most appropriate for regulating airspace following the Minister's proposal to establish an Airspace Directorate, run out of the Department. “Even now, during this reform process, Mr. Anderson appears to be making unexplained, politically motivated decisions “The Democrats believe airspace management decisions should be transparent and, first and foremost, about safety rather than ideological imperatives known only to the Minister. Media contact: Brian Littlechild - 0408 056 167