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Adelaide - international airport

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news release

The city of Adelaide will become an important international gateway to Australia when international airlines begin regular services to and from Adelaide Airport on 2 November 1982.

The Minister for Aviation, Mr Wal. Fife, who arrived in Adelaide today on a Qantas Boeing 747 trial flight, said the introduction of international services -to...South Australia would give a tremendous boost to State prestige and greatly benefit the people of South Australia.

"Today's trial flight by the aircraft 'City of Adelaide' paves the way for the first fare-paying passengers to fly on regular scheduled services. It signals the end of the era in which South Australians have been disadvantaged in terms of cost and time with overseas travel," he said.

"Direct international services will not only open the way for increased and more convenient business travel but set the stage for an upsurge in tourist- traffic.

"There are important fringe benefits as well, such as savings in air freight costs and reductions in supply time for South Australian industry." ;

Mr Fife said that at this stage three international airlines had Government approval to operate to and from Adelaide Airport - Qantas, British Airways, and Singapore International Airlines. .

"Arrangements allowing Air New Zealand to fly to Adelaide are expected to be finalised shortly," he said.

"Qantas is to fly a twice-weekly return service to London beginning on November 5 and a weekly service to Auckland from November 8." ;

Mr Fife said that 1982 was a year of significant development at Adelaide Airport.

"A new international terminal costing $11 million, with new apron and taxiway facilities, is almost complete and major works are well advanced for the airport to take the Airbus A300 and Boeing 767 wide-body domestic jet aircraft," Mr Fife said.

Mr Fife paid tribute to the Department of Aviation, the Department of Transport and Construction, and the contractors, Fricker Bros Pty Ltd, for meeting tight deadlines in having the . facilities operational in time for new services to begin and especially to the co-operation from the State Government.

"They have all done a tremendous job," he said.

"Contrary to some recent criticisms that the first international aircraft will be arriving at an incomplete international facility, let me say that it was always the intention that the first scheduled flights would begin before the building was fully completed.

"The emphasis with this whole project was to get international services started as soon as possible for the benefit of the travelling public and the State of South Australia."

He added that the international terminal had been designed to handle not only South Australia's current and short term future needs but to be capable of ready expansion when the need arose.

It had been sited to allow joint development with future domestic facilities.

Mr Fife said that the size of the existing domestic terminal was being almost doubled at a cost of $8.84 million.

He added that in keeping with a long standing Department of Aviation policy, facilities for the disabled were being incorporated in both terminals.

Mr Fife said that, to cater for general aviation aircraft, new light aircraft parking areas were being built. These would compensate for the apron space lost in expanding the domestic terminal. . .

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He added that other major projects under way to bring Adelaide Airport to the standard necessary to cope with the aviation industry's requirements included:

. A new control tower, adjacent to the airport fire

station, which would be commissioned in November;

. A new Air Traffic Services Centre, near Tapleys Hill Road, the Flight Service section of which would also be commissioned in November; and

. A new radio and electrical maintenance centre.

The upgrading of Adelaide Airport to international status, and the expansion of domestic facilities to handle the new generation wide-body domestic aircraft, is part of the Commonwealth Government's $580 million nation-wide airport-airway development program.

The four year investment program, which provides $355 million for new airport developments, and expenditure of $174 million this financial year, is the most ambitious in Australian aviation history.

This investment reflects the Commonwealth Government's firm commitment to preserve Australia's high safety and operational . standards and to provide high quality facilities for the public and the industry.

Mr Fife said that when all works were completed, Adelaide Airport's facilities would match the most modern in Australia and enhance South Australia's reputation as the Festival State.

Adelaide 16 October 1982.