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Thursday, 1 June 1972
Page: 2427

Senator MILLINER (QUEENSLAND) - I direct a question to the Minister for Civil Aviation. I refer to the release of a document this morning by the Minister for Civil Aviation and the Minister for Education and Science. Can the Minister inform the Senate whether the collaboration between the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Department of Civil Aviation on the development of a sophisticated aircraft landing system embraces any attempt to allow planes to land or take off on runways that are at present established, so that we will not have to go through the process of increasing the length of runways?

Senator COTTON - This is quite a remarkable programme that has been developed. It flows out of a number of programmes in this country that are the product of the expertise in 2- places. One is the Division of Radio Physics of the Commonwealth ., Scientific, and. Industrial Research Organisation which comprises a quite remarkable body of men, some of whose discoveries are of world significance. The other is the technical research group in the Department of Civil Aviation. These 2 bodies have collaborated on a number of projects to improve landing systems that have been operating in this country. Some of these improvements have already been established. Some of them have been made available quite freely without royalty to other operators around the world. One of them is the T-VASIS system. There has been special work going on for some time to try to eliminate anomalies in radar screens. That is taking place at Fleurs in New South Wales. It is being done by our own Department in conjunction with the School of Electrical Engineering and Astronomy of the University of Sydney and the CSIRO.

The latest development in which the Minister for Education and Science and myself and our Departments are involved is the development with radio physics of a more intensified system of landing aids based on microwaves, which is more precise, more refined and much more definite. This could bc successful and, if it is successful, it will make the operation of flying just that much more precise and that much safer at the higher speeds at which aircraft are flying. I think one could only say that we have very great hopes that we will succeed. If we do succeed we will have no problems with having to change runway lengths or systems or anything of that kind. We will just work at a higher or more precise level of signal that we have now. If we succeed we will again take the view that international aviation should benefit from the work of Australians.

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