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Wednesday, 21 March 1928

Senator GUTHRIE (through) (Senator Elliott) asked the Minister for Defence. upon notice -

1.   Why is it that little or no encouragement to aviation has been given at the seat of the Federal Governmentof Australia?

2.   How long will it before a properlyequipped aerodrome is ' established in the Federal Capital Territory with the necessary hangars, &c?

3.   What is the annual expenditure by the Commonwealth Government on civil aviation in Australia?

4.   What is the total personnel attached to the Civil Aviation Department?

5.   What are their duties?

6.   Would the Minister be in favour of civil aviation being dissociated from the Defence Department? .

Senator Sir WILLIAM GLASGOW - The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follows: -

1.   Although Canberrais situated on one of the approved aerial highways that are to be organized in due course, it has not been practicable so far to commence preparation of it as such.

2.   It is hoped that the negotiations between the Defence Department and the Federal Capital Commission in regard to the terms and conditions of tenure of an aerodrome site near Canberra will be finalized shortly.

3.   The expenditure during 1924-25 was £104,734; 1925-26, £113,588; 1926-27, £111,669; estimated expenditure for 1927-28, £134,000.

4.   Professional and administrative staff (central), 5; technical inspectional staff, 4; clerical staff,6; typistcs. 4; total, 19 (exclusive of caretakers at government terminal aerodromes ) .

5.   The Civil Aviation Branch, under the Minister for Defence, is responsible for (a) the administration of the . Air Navigation Regulations which were framed to enable an adequate measure of control over the operations of civil aircraft within the Commonwealth and Territories; (6) the expenditure of the funds voted annually for the maintenance of regular air services, aerial routes, flying training organizations and other activities, and the investigation of proposals for further development (within the limits of the annual Civil Aviation appropriation).

To facilitate the discharge of these functions, the Civil Aviation Branch is divided into three sections, viz. : - s

(i)   Flying Operations.- (Aerial navigation, licensing of pilots, supervision of the activities of air service contractors and, the . various flying training organizations ) ;

(ii)   Aircraft.- (Registration and periodical inspection of aircraft to ensure theirmaintenance in airworthy condition; the examination and licensing of aircraft ground engineers, and generally to advise on all technical matters affecting aircraft and aero engines) ;

(iii)   Aerodromes.- (The maintenance of existing)!, aerodromes, emergency landing grounds and buildings; preliminary surveys of proposed new routes and the submission of recommendations for their preparation: issue of aerial strip maps and plans of landings grounds ; leases and/or acquisitions of sites for new aerodromes and emergency landing grounds).

6.   It is not customary to deal with matters of policy in answers to Questions in Parliament.

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