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Amendments to the Civil Aviation regulations.

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The Hon John Anderson Minister for Transport and Regional Services 23rd December 2004


Amendments to the Civil Aviation Regulations

The Deputy Prime Minister, John Anderson, has returned from leave to announce urgent amendments to the Civil Aviation Regulations.

The amendments are needed to allow Santa Claus to fly legally at low altitude on Christmas Eve. Without them, Santa Claus could face fines of up to $14.3 billion - $5,500 for every time he flies down to rooftop height to deliver presents.

“Under Civil Aviation Regulation 157, the pilot in command of an aircraft must not fly lower than 1,000 feet over a populous area, or lower than 500 feet over any other area. The regulation does not apply to aircraft taking off or landing at an airport,” Mr Anderson said.

“It is clear that Santa’s operations have inadvertently breached this regulation for years.

“I am therefore announcing a new Santa clause that will designate up to 2.6 million Australian homes with good children as special, sleigh-only airports. The amendment will apply from bedtime on Christmas Eve to far too early on Christmas morning.

“The North Pole has agreed to provide the Government with a list of homes to include in the regulations. I am advised that it is very accurate, for it has been checked twice,” Mr Anderson said.

The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that residents would not need to turn on their outside lights to enable the sleigh to land.

“The Australia-North Pole air services agreement, which I signed in 1999, requires a reindeer called Rudolph to lead the sleigh. He has a very shiny nose - you could, I am advised, even say it glows - and it provides all the light the sleigh needs to take off and land safely,” Mr Anderson said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government would not prosecute Santa Claus for his breaches of CAR 157 in previous years.

“Santa Claus has an excellent safety record. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has never recorded a safety incident involving flying reindeer,” Mr Anderson said.

Media contact: Bill McKinley 02 6277 7680 / 0407 701 034

Bill McKinley Communications Adviser Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Leader of The Nationals Minister for Transport and Regional Services

Tel: +61 2 6277 7680 Fax: +61 2 6273 4126