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Another blunder over NAS.



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Martin Ferguson MP

Shadow Minister for Urban and Regional Development Shadow Minister for Transport and Infrastructure

11 November 2003

ANOTHER BLUNDER OVER NAS

The Minister for Transport’s National Airspace System (NAS) has again disintegrated into a farce with reports that pilots across the country are still to receive their training material less than three weeks before the planned 27 November implementation date.

Labor is extremely concerned that the NAS will jeopardise aviation safety in Australia if the Minister for Transport continues to push ahead with its implementation despite the continuing warnings.

Labor has been advised that some 7,500 pilots from the Australian Ultra-Light Federation and the Gliding Federation of Australia have not received the training material they will need to operate under the new airspace system.

All of these pilots will be able to fly in the NAS from 27 November, but will be flying blind.

This latest blunder is in addition to the refusal of the Minister to address the serious and legitimate safety concerns of the aviation industry about the NAS and the release of aviation maps relating to the NAS that are missing vital radio frequency information.

The Minister for Transport keeps saying the NAS is safe but he has yet to demonstrate that it is.

He continues to ignore the legitimate concerns of the aviation industry and today we learn that 16 days before pilots are expected to use the NAS, they don’t have access to vital training material.

How much further into high farce can the NAS implementation plunge before the Minister for Transport takes industry concerns seriously, halts implementation and deals with airspace reform in the interests of aviation safety and the integrity of our airways?

Further Information:

Blythe Hamilton 02 6277 4753 or 0407 099 104