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Wednesday, 23 August 1972
Page: 310

Senator DEVITT (TASMANIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Civil Aviation. 1 am sure that the Minister will recall that about 3 months ago during the last session I asked him whether any efforts were being made to assess a suitable replacement aircraft for the F27. I now ask the Minister:

Has any progress been made in finding a suitable aircraft which would be capable of using existing Australian airports currently being served by the F27 aircraft?

Senator COTTON (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Civil Aviation) - The F28 or Fellowship twin jet aircraft which is made by the same company that produces the F27 has proved to be a suitable aircraft for replacement in certain circumstances. It is used widely and successfully in Western Australia. The F28 carries more passengers than does the F27, carrying capacity being of the order of 65 compared with 38. Therefore to some extent its economics depend upon the passenger load. In addition to the passenger traffic being available, there will be some need for airports to be upgraded. The Commonwealth recently announced assistance to upgrade certain country airports to jet standard. The question of a replacement is largely one for decision by the operators concerned. The Boeing 737 aircraft has some capcity to be useful. I would not want to go beyond that, except to say that the operators concerned really have to make the fundamental decision on the equipment they want, and then the Commonwealth must decide whether the infrastructure costs warrant that sort of aircraft being in use. But, as I have said, the F28 aircraft has been used successfully in Western Australia.

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