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Tuesday, 4 May 1971

Senator COTTON (New South Wales) (Minister for Civil Aviation) - I have noted the honourable senator's comments. I must say that I was sorry to learn that he was inconvenienced by such a downpour. It would appear to me that there may have been a lack of umbrellas. I will check that one out.

Senator Byrne - No, there were plenty of umbrellas, but they were virtually useless in that type of rain.

Senator COTTON - I will check with the operators as to whether umbrellas were delivered to the aircraft fast enough.

Senator Byrne - I have no complaint at all against the airline. It did its best.

Senator COTTON - This problem is something which cannot be solved in an instant. There is a programme to enlarge the terminals at Canberra Airport in due course. I do not know when this will take place. I do not know what capital cost would be involved in providing special attachments which link on to an aircraft and allow passengers to walk from the aircraft to the terminal in shelter.

Senator Byrne - I was merely asking for the type of facility which is available at Essendon Airport where there are long arterial arms going not into an aircraft but close to it

Senator COTTON - 1 understand now what the honourable senator is driving at. His suggestion is an appropriate one. As I mentioned earlier, consideration is being given to the expansion of this terminal. I will direct that the honourable senator's suggestion be taken into account when the planning is taking place.

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