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Wednesday, 15 September 1971
Page: 1389

Mr Enderby asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

(1)   Are the DC3 type aircraft which were purchased from Jet Airlines of Australia and which are to be supplied to under-developed countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Nepal equipped in a full instrument flight rules configuration.

(2)   Is it a fact that countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Nepal, in which the aircraft are to operate, are devoid of the required ground installations necessary for full instrument flight rules operation.

(3)   Is it a fact that Australia has a highly developed instrument flight rules system of ground installations and that the instrument flight rules equipment in the DC3 aircraft make them ideally suited for operations in Australia and not in countries such as those mentioned.

(4)   Were the potential Australian DC3 operators given the opportunity to purchase the DC3 aircraft; if not, why not.

(5)   Has the Government now lifted the ban which has restricted the import into Australia of airline type aircraft over 12,500 lb gross weight so as to permit Australian operators to obtain DC3 type aircraft at ruling overseas market prices; if not, does the Government intend to lift the ban.

(6)   Can the Minister say whether the ruling market price in the United Kingdom for DC3 type aircraft is approximately £stg1 1,000 as suggested in the English 'Flight' magazine dated5th November 1970; if not, what is the ruling market price for these aircraft.

(7)   What were the sale prices of all other DC3 aircraft sold in Australia during the last 5 years.

(8)   What was the price paid to Jet Airlines of Australia for each of the aircraft

(9)   If the price was above the market price, why was the company paid more than the market price.

(10)   Why were the First Class Airline Pilots' Licences possessed by the DC3 Captains who were in the employ of Jet Airlines of Australia withdrawn after the expiry date of their first period of validity and why were they issued with a more restricted type licence conferring lower airline pilot status.

Mr Swartz - The Minister for Civil Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   The DC3 aircraft which are being supplied to Cambodia, Laos and Nepal under the foreign aid programme are fitted with the basic equipment to meet the requirements for flight under instrument flight rules.

(2)   No.

(3)   Australia has a highly developed system of ground installations to facilitate flight under instrument flight rules. The aircraft have the basic equipment to meet the requirements for flight under those rules. They are also suited to operations in the countries to which they are being supplied.

(4)   Yes. The aircraft were advertised for sale by the previous owner.

(5)   There has been no change in the Government's policy that import permits should be refused for all types of aircraft of more than 12,500 lb except aircraft purchased by Australian airlines, aircraft in a specialist aerial work category such as aerial survey, replacement aircraft of a type equivalent to that currently operated by charter licence holders and aircraft for private use. No change in this policy is being contemplated.

As to change in this policy permitting Australian operators to obtain DC3 type aircraft at ruling overseas market prices', see answer to Part (6).

(6)   The term 'ruling market price' is not a meaningful one in the context of this question. The price of any aircraft will depend on many factors including not only the market situation for the type of aircraft but on the time remaining before the airframe and engines become due for major overhauls. Other factors, such as the radio and navigation equipment installed, passenger facilities and interior furnishings, will also have a bearing on the price.

The asking price of the DC3 advertised in Flight International' of5th November 1970 was presumably a realistic one, having regard to the factors I have mentioned, but I have no information on whether the aircraft was in fact sold, or sold at that price. As will be seen from the answer to Part (7) some DC3 aircraft sold in Australia in the last 5 years have brought higher prices.

(7)   Since August 1966,50 DC3 type aircraft have been sold in Australia. Their prices have ranged from $833 for aircraft sold as scrap, to $46,250 for an aircraft which had been fully overhauled prior to sale.

I do not necessarily have available to me as a matter of course the prices at which aircraft change hands, except for aircraft owned by the Commonwealth. However, in order to answer the question as fully as possible, the following table has been compiled as a special exercise:


(8)   The six aircraft, including some spares, were purchased as a single package for $275,000.

(9)   The price was reached having regard to the factors mentioned in answer to Part (6). The aircraft had been recently overhauled, and had first class passenger fittings and interior furnishings.

(10)   The renewal of a First Class Airline Transport Pilot Licence can only be effected if the applicant successfully undertakes a flight proficiency test using an aircraft representative of those used in airline operation. The holder of a Senior Commercial Pilot Licence may effect renewal provided he shows evidence that he has, within the 90 days preceding the application, acquired not less than 5 hours aeronautical experience including five take-offs and landings.

Those pilots of Jetair Australia Ltd who has not undertaken the Flight Proficiency Test required by Air Navigation Orders for the renewal of an Airline Transport Pilot Licence were issued with a Senior Commercial Pilot Licence if they met the renewal requirements for that licence.

A Senior Commerical Pilot Licence permits the holder to fly in command of any aircraft for which the licence is endorsed unless the flight is a regular public transport service operated by the holder of an Airline Licence. The Senior Commercial Pilot Licence did not restrict the operations of Jetair Australia Ltd in any way.

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