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Prestigious aviation award goes to Sydney man

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A Sydney man has joined an elite international group of aviation workers and pioneers by being the 25th winner of the Edward Warner Award for an outstanding contribution in civil aviation.

Dr Keith Bradfield, 80, of the northern beach suburb of Fairlight, is only the second Australian to have received this prestigious award, presented each year by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The award, regarded as the highest honour bestowed by the international civil aviation community, was established in 1958 as a tribute to the late Dr Edward Warner, who was the first president of the ICAO Council from 1945 to 1957.

Announcing the award today, the Minister for Transport and Communications, Kim Beazley, said Dr Bradfield had been nominated in recognition of his important contribution to the ground-based infrastructure of civil aviation.

"Dr Bradfield joins the list of notable aviation workers and pioneers who have been Edward Warner Award recipients, including Atlantic aviator Charles Lindbergh and helicopter pioneer Igor Sikorsky," Mr Beazley said.

"He is only the second Australian to have received the award, following in the footsteps of Sir Donald Anderson, who received it in 1978."

Selection was extremely competitive with the emphasis on the international nature of the achievements of recipients.

Dr Bradfield received an engineering degree from Sydney University in 1934, and as a Rhodes Scholar, obtained a PhD in engineering science from Oxford University in 1938.

He represented Australia on the ICAO Council from 1947 to 1951 and from 1969 to 1972 > and since retiring has helped developing countries develop their aviation ground-based infrastructures.

Kim C Beazley, MP


4 July 1991

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Media contact: Gary O'Neill 06 277 7200 COMMONWEALTH




Keith Noel Everal BRADFIELD.


13/4 Hilltop Crescent, Fairlight, NSW, Australia, 2094.




Bom 25 December 1910 at Gordon, NSW, Australia.


Gordon Public School, N.S.Wt, Australia. Sydney Church Of England Grammar School. Sydney University Bachelor of Science 1932. Bachelor of Engineering with First

Class Honours, 1934.

Oxford University Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science, 1938


Member of Institution of Engineers, Australia.


Civil Aviation Adviser.


Dr Bradfield*s career in civil aviation commenced in 1935 with Post-Graduate research work at Oxford University. This consisted of devising methods, using the Relaxation Theory of Stress Analysis, newly developed by Professor R.V.Southwell, to enable the calculation of stresses in complicated frameworks such as those found in aircraft. The

main results of this research were, in association with Professor Southwell, presented to the Royal Society, London, and the British Air Ministry and published by them.

As a member of the Oxford University Air Squadron, he gained his Pilot's Licence in 1936.

At the same time Dr Bradfield became interested in aerodromes and, in 1938/39, worked with Norman & Dawbam, Consulting Engineers and Architects of London, who specialised in aerodrome design and development. He was engaged in the design and supervision of construction of aerodromes in England and the Channel Islands, particularly those at Birmingham and in Guernsey.

Returning to Australia in July 1939, Dr Bradfield joined the Commonwealth Department of Civil Aviation as a junior engineer and progressed to the positions of Chief Airport Engineer, Director of Airports and First Assistant Director-General in charge of the design and development of all aerodromes and ground aids and facilities throughout Australia, and also in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu). He retired from the Department in 1972 after 33 years in the

Australian Government Service.

During this period his activities were not confined to Australia and neighbouring States.

Dr Bradfield spent two separate sessions as the Australian Representative on the ICAO Council in Montreal.

He was a member of the first Council of ICAO in 1947 and continued through to the end of 1952.

During this period he was a member and Chairman of the Joint Support Committee, a member of the Air Transport Committee, the Administrative Committee and the Air Navigation Committee which preceded the Air Navigation Commission. When the Commission was formed he was accredited to it as an Observer.

He was a delegate to many Division meetings and took part in the formulation of the Annexes to the Chicago Convention which originated from them. He was Chairman of the Aerodromes and Ground Aids Division in 1952.

Dr Bradfield was Second Vice President of the Council during 1949/50, and acted as President of the Council for several months in 1949 during the absence of Dr Warner due to illness.

In his second session on the Council from 1968-1972, as well as taking part in its various Committee and Division meetings, Dr Bradfield was deeply involved with matters concerned with Unlawful Interference with International Civil Aviation and a member of the Committee of that name.


Between his two sessions at ICAO and when based in Australia, 1953-1968, Dr Bradfield was on many occasions an Australian delegate to, and sometimes Chairman of, meetings of the South Pacific Air Transport Council. He was also Chairman of its South Pacific Airport Group comprised of members from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, charged with the responsibility of searching for the best location for an airport in the South West Pacific to serve the Trans-Pacific air routes between Australia, New Zealand and North America. Nadi, Fiji Islands was chosen and the Group then carried out its design and arranged for its construction, together with all the necessary navigation aids and communications facilities. This was completed in 1959.

In 1960 Dr Bradfield served as a member of the British West Indies Civil Aviation Commission, set up by the United Kingdom. Its five members came from Australia, India and ICAO, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the United Kingdom, under the leadership of Sir Frederick Tymms, with responsibility for drawing up an integrated plan of development of civil aviation in the West Indies, in anticipation of the establishment of a Federation of the West Indies. Although this Federation did not, in fact, eventuate, much of the work done during that period has since proved useful. At this time he also advised the United Kingdom Government on the development of the airport at Georgetown, British Guiana (now Guyana) and at Belize, British Honduras (now Belize).

In 1965, at the request of International Aeradio Ltd., Dr Bradfield inspected and reported to that company on the quality and operational efficiency of their installations at Bahrain and Malta.

Dr Bradfield, on a number of occasions during his years with the Australian Department of Civil Aviation, made visits to aircraft manufacturing companies overseas, with particular interest in the effect of the wheel-loadings and tyre pressures and the noise of new aircraft on airports and their neighbourhoods, and always with the objective of applying Systems Planning to the introduction of new types of aircraft.

In the early 1950s Dr Bradfield became concerned with the mounting problem of aircraft noise on airports and their neighbourhoods and consistently advocated the limitation of noise which could be acceptable for new types of aircraft. The response

was slow, but inevitable. He had a major role in the preparation of the initial text of a draft resolution on the subject, which, modified to reflect the thoughts of other States which were co-sponsors with Australia, became Resolution Number A16.3 of the 16th

Assembly of ICAO in 1968, entitled "Aircraft Noise in the Vicinity of Airports", and which led to the adoption of Annex 16 on Aircraft Noise.

Dr Bradfield retired from the Australian Department of Civil Aviation after returning from Montreal in 1972 and, at the request of both the Australian Government and the pre-Independence Government of Papua New Guinea, he became Civil Aviation Adviser to the latter in January 1973. His tasks included that of Controller of Civil

Aviation and the setting up of a local administration for Papua New Guinea to take over the responsibility for civil aviation when the country became an independent State in 1975. This involved the orderly transfer of activities from Australia to Papua New Guinea as personnel became trained to carry them out; also the preparation, with the . Department of Justice, of the Civil Aviation Act, other Acts relating to civil aviation in Papua New Guinea and their Civil Aviation Regulations.

He was Chairman of a Committee set up to determine how best a Papua New Guinea airline could take over, at Independence, the operations of the two Australian airlines which were established there. This led to the formation of the Papua New Guinea Airline Commission and Air Niugini. He was one of the members of the first Board of Commissioners of Air Niugini.

After handing over the responsibilities of Director of Civil Aviation to his personally trained Papua New Guinea successor, Dr Bradfield returned to Australia in 1976 but continued to work with that State in an advisory capacity. He attended the 1977, 1980 and 1983 General Assemblies of ICAO as a member of the Papua New Guinea Delegation.

From 1978-1988 Dr Bradfield was a member of the ICAO list of Arbitrators set up in accordance with Article 85 of the Chicago Convention.

During the period from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Dr Bradfield was engaged on works carried out under Australian Aid in the Solomon Islands and Southern Africa.

The first was as part of a team which prepared a Master Plan for the development of Honiara airport

The second was as part of another team whose task was to co-ordinate better the civil aviation operations and development in the nine States of the Southern African Development Co-ordination Conference (SADCC), namely Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Circumstances prevented this project being brought to its full conclusion, but not before some closer relationships had been established between the various Civil Aviation Administrations of the Region and, working in association with a Scandinavian Aid Unit in the area at that time, some significant progress made in the co-ordination of the calibration of navigational aids.

As a part of this project, Dr Bradfield made a survey and favourably reported on the suitability of the Ethiopian Airlines pilot training school and aircraft maintenance facilities at Addis Ababa for training of personnel from the SADCC States.

In 1986, and while he was working with an Australian consulting consortium in the design of extensions to the Terminal Building Complex at Nadi Airport in Fiji, Dr


/ ,

Bradfield became, at the request of the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF), an Adviser to that body to assist in the preparation of a Master Plan for the development of Nadi Airport for the next 20 years and beyond. This was completed in August 1986 and is now in the course of implementation.

This advisory relationship with Fiji has continued since that time. He has recently been involved, as a representative of CAAF, in assisting the ICAO team which carried out an Organisation Study of CAAF, and in the implementation of many of the Recommendations in their report.

Dr Bradfield has also taken part in a Survey, carried out under Australian Aid, of the Domestic Airports of Fiji, to determine particularly any safety-related deficiencies and to overcome these deficiencies.

At the present time, Dr Bradfield is actively engaged in Fiji, giving advice on a number of technical and administrative matters.

In doing so he works, not for CAAF as a Consultant, but with CAAF as an Adviser and, whenever possible, with at least one local member of the CAAF staff. He works in the role of teacher and tutor, as well as an active participant, with the objective of

passing on to them the knowledge and experience he has gained during his career.