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Australian Aid programme - Supply of DC-3 aircraft



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DEPARTMENT OF F O R E I G N AFFAIRS

NEWS RELEASE NO. l*tth February, 1971.

AUSTRALIAN AID PROGRAMS - SUPPLY OF DC-3 AIRCRAFT . .

. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Right Honourable William

McMahon, M.P., today announced details of the supply of DC-3 aircraft

to overseas countries as part of the Australian aid programme. ’

Mr, McMahon said that Australia had agreed to supply eleven

DC-3 aircraft to three countries, the Khmer Republic (formerly Cambodia),

Nepal and Laos, as a foreign aid project.

The supply of these aircraft would meet commitments Australia ·

had made to ea.ch of these countries at. various stages during the past year

in an attempt to help improve their transport and communications links. · ,

In many areas in all three countries air communications are .

often the only feasible or efficient way of transporting people or freight,

and the DC-3 type of aircraft is still the most common and practical for this

type of v/ork.

One problem in attempting to provide this help has been the

difficulty in being able to procure suitable aircraft to meet the specific

requirements of the various countries from Austrail am sources. However,

five DC-3 freighters had become available from RAAF sources and six more DC-31s

(two freighters and four passenger planes) Eire in the process of being purchased

from Jetair Australia Limited.

· The availability of the Jetair fleet was most opportune,

particularly as it consisted of a mixture of passenger and freight aircraft in very

good condition with civilian certificates of airworthiness which is a prerequisite

for Nepal and Laos, and in configurations required by the receiving countries.

The Khmer Republic requirement is for freighter aircraft for -use.

2.

by the Khmer Air Force as general freight and personnel carriers. The

five ex-RAAF freighters and one ex-Jetair freighter consequently will

be supplied to fulfil this need. .

Nepal, on the other hand, had asked for two 28-seater passenger

planes for use on normal domestic services operated by the Royal Nepal

Airlines Corporation. Two ex-Jetair aircraft will be provided in this

configuration. '

Similarly, Laos requires two passenger and one freighter

aircarft for civilian use by the Royal Laotian Government and three ex-Jetair

aircraft will be used for this purpose.

Mr. McMahon said he believed these aircraft would play a

valuable role in filling a real need in each of the countries,

particularly as they were of the type and standard which would fit in \ ery

well with existing aircraft servicing facilities and operations in the

recipient countries. . -

' In answer to a question,-Mr. McMahon said that the price for

the Jetair planes had been agreed upon and the contract is being processed

through established government purchasing arrangements.

The aircraft were in exceptionally good order and their

price is appreciably below v/hat would have been the cost of buying other

less serviceable DC-3's which were available and having them modified

to the standard and configurations required by recipient countries.