Impact Publications : Aircargo_242
Page 16 • AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • APRIL-MAY 2016 Safety program updated again THe ReSULTS of a national air safety review that included industry and public consultation are seen in Australia’s newly-released state safety program. This update takes on board best practice, new generation technology and lessons learned from incident reports both local and international. It has been expanded to cover challenges facing the system and sets a series of objectives. Darren Chester, minister for infrastructure and transport said the country already had an advanced aviation safety system in place and was one of the world’s safest places to fly. “Regardless of these strengths, however, even a mature system must look for continuous improvements in response to the growing diversity of the aviation industry. “It is important we continue to adapt to the challenges of a rapidly changing domestic and international aviation market.” Hobart extension could impact air cargo growth JUST a few days before the Australian government moved into constitutional limbo, minis- ters Richard Colbeck and Darren Chester lauded the approval given for the Hobart Airport runway to be extended. There was upbeat talk of international passenger and cargo flights, with Colbeck even claiming a specific query from a Chinese carrier. Were such links to evolve they would most likely be primarily driv- en by tourism. But with Tasmania in a new growth spurt for high-end produce such as crayfish, wine and cheese, along with the steady evolution of high tech and light manufacturing, there is scope for cargo to play a role in the airport’s long-term expansion. And both Hobart and Launceston airports have a healthy domestic air cargo business with potential for fur- ther development. Hobart Airport is already one of the key portals to the Antarctic, although not in the same league as its trans-Tas- man counterpart, Christchurch. A longer runway will up the ante on com- petition for international cargo traffic to the ice, although the Americans are unlikely to move base without signifi- cant inducements. International flights operated for sev- eral years between Hobart and NZ – mostly Christchurch but also Auckland for a short time – and there is scope for these to be reborn with the better economics offered by a runway that allows heavier loads and more fuel. Chester, wearing both his transport and infrastructure hats, said the runway extension would allow Hobart “to capitalise on the growth in international passengers and freight forecast for Tasmania in the coming years. “The approval clears the way for a 500 metre extension of the existing runway and the construction of asso- ciated aviation infrastructure. “Once complete, Hobart Airport’s runway will measure over 2.75 km and will be capable of handling larger aircraft with greater flight ranges than those currently serving the airport.” Tourism minister Colbeck com- mented that “increased aviation capacity is essential to meet the Tourism 2020 strategy growth targets and underneath these passenger seats is valuable freight capacity for use by Colbeck (right) at the Hobart Airport runway extension announcement. Tasmania’s premi- um food and wine producers”. He revealed that during April’s much-publicised Australia Week in China, he “was approached by China eastern Airlines staff who specifically raised access to Hobart airport with me. I was happy to report that they would soon be able to fly direct to Hobart following the completion of the extension.” Not surprisingly Hobart Airport ceo Rod Parry welcomed the extension plan, saying it would “open up new and exciting opportunities for the Tasmani- an economy”. He saw it as allowing Tasmania to “better participate in Asian markets”. Preparations for the extension will begin shortly and major work will get under way during summer. Completion is currently targeted for March 2018.