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Thursday, 19 May 1960

Mr James (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) s asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice -

1.   Was approval for the departure of a chartered civil aircraft from Williamtown Air Base on Friday night, 22nd April, refused by the Royal

Australian Air Force Officer-in-charge after consultation with the Department of Civil Aviation?

2.   If so, what was the reason for that decision?

Mr Townley - The Minister for Civil Aviation has supplied the following answers: - 1 and 2. Inquiry into this matter has revealed that approval to use Williamtown for this charter flight was refused for the reason that the departure time for this flight (11 p.m.) on Friday, 22nd April, and the return on Tuesday, 26th April (3 a.m.), which was also included in the request, were well outside the normal operating hours for the aerodrome. The R.A.A.F. has been most cooperative in making provision for the regular use of Williamtown by airline operators but it is unable to accommodate charter or private operations particularly when such operations fall outside the normal operating hours for the aerodrome. I am sure you will agree that it is essential that nothing is done which would effect the regular service provided for the residents of Newcastle through the use of the R.A.A.F. aerodrome at Williamtown. Accordingly my department has now issued instructions that except for medical or other urgent matters civil operations into Williamtown be restricted to regular airline operations.

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