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Tuesday, 5 November 1985
Page: 1596

(Question No. 183)

Senator Kilgariff asked the Minister representing the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 16 April 1985:

(1) Is the Minister for Aviation aware of 2 recent incidents at the Alice Springs airport, one involving passengers who were able to walk out onto the tarmac while an aircraft was taxiing in, and the other involving a woman and two children who were struck by a baggage truck which was moving across the tarmac; if so, could these incidents have been prevented had there been sufficient security at the airport.

(2) Is the Minister concerned at the obvious lack of sufficient security personnel at the airport, given that situations such as these have arisen; if so, what action will the Minister take to ensure that security arrangements, including the provision of additional staff, are made.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) and (2) Yes. Both incidents were the result of airline staff's failure to observe the apron safety standards in respect of passengers when loading aircraft. The matter has been drawn to their attention and appropriate rectification measures taken.

Security and management of the Airport is continually under review and my Department is fully aware of the incidents you raise. The security fence and gates have recently been upgraded to restrict the number of movement access points to the tarmac area.

The responsibility for safety and security of passengers during aircraft loading operations rests with the Airlines concerned.