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Tuesday, 20 November 1973
Page: 1947

Senator Townley asked the Minister representing the Minister for Civil Aviation, upon notice:

(1)   When will the Department of Civil Aviation cease to man the flight services at Flinders Island.

(2   ) What was the number of flights to Flinders Island during the last three years.

(   3 ) Why is the service being discontinued.

Senator Cavanagh - The Minister for Civil Aviation has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question: (1)12 November 1973.


Note- On the basis of figures collected since July, 1972 16.1 per cent of movements are heavy aircraft i.e. above 12,500 lbs all up weight, 81.9 per cent are light aircraft and the remaining 2 per cent are helicopters.

(3)   When the Flight Service Unit was first established at Flinders Island, public communications were non-continuous and unreliable and were inadequate for the exchange of aircraft movement and operational meteorological messages with the mainland and Tasmania. This requirement is now being met by the use of a reliable, continuous PMG telecommunications service.

Although the Unit played an important early role in maintaining communication with aircraft operating between Tasmania and the mainland, the facilities at the main Melbourne and Launceston Airways Operations Centres have been improved to the extent that the Flinders Island Flight Service Unit is no longer required.

Under the circumstances and in the interests of keeping Government expenditure down to the minimum consistent with both safety and public convenience, it has been decided to close down the Flinders Island Flight Service Unit.

The facilities in the Flight Service Unit will not be dismantled for a period of at least twelve months.

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