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Friday, 13 September 1985
Page: 534


Senator GIETZELT —On Wednesday, 11 September, Senator Townley asked whether the Government had had any reaction as a result of the experience of the ill-fated Japan Air Lines flight which crashed en route from Tokyo to Osaka and whether the Department of Aviation had taken any steps to learn from that experience. I am advised by the Minister for Aviation that air traffic controllers in this country follow procedures recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. In circumstances where an aircraft has diverted from its agreed course or altitude, or otherwise shown signs of abnormal performance, a controller's first action would be to try to contact the pilot to determine the nature and extent of the problem, so that a judgment could be made as to the need to invoke emergency measures. Once the pilot has communicated his difficulties and/or his requirements, the controller would be conscious of the need to keep further contact to a minimum in order to avoid distracting the pilot. I think that answers the question raised by Senator Townley.