Mar 5, 2009

$70m upgrade to airport rescue and fire fighting capability

$70m upgrade to airport rescue and fire fighting capability

MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

March 5 2009

More than $70 million over the next 5 years will be invested to modernise the fire and rescue services at the nation’s busiest airports, underscoring the Government’s commitment to keeping the Australian aviation industry one of the safest in the world.

After inspecting Melbourne Airport’s new ‘Mark 8’ fire trucks, I can confirm Airservices – the government-owned corporation responsible for fire and rescue services at 20 of Australia’s busiest airports – will buy a further 33 vehicles, over the next 5 years.

The investment in fire trucks will see the existing and aging fleet, particularly at major regional airports, completely modernised.

To make sure the new equipment is manned by highly trained personnel, Airservices is spending a further $7 million building a new state-of-art training facility at the premises of the Victorian Country Fire Authority in Fiskville north of Melbourne.

The centrepiece of this facility will be a full-sized-mock-up of an aircraft, re-creating realistic environments for students to practise various fire fighting and rescue scenarios.

It is expected the mock-up will be completed by August 2010, and once commissioned, compliment the training activities being delivered by Airservices’ new Learning Academy at Melbourne Airport.

Airservices’ $70 million investment package also includes:

  • Fire Control Centre alarm monitoring at 20 locations nationwide;
  • New Fire Stations at Perth Airport and Maroochydore;
  • New Aerial Vehicles to meet the needs of the A380;
  • New protective clothing and equipment for fire fighters; and
  • New Domestic Response Vehicles at Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane airports.

While Australia has an enviable aviation safety record, the Government is taking nothing for granted. The community can be confident that in the unlikely event of an accident at our busier capital city or regional airports, the on site fire and rescue services is able to respond with highly trained personnel and the latest equipment.

Further measures and initiatives designed to make the Australian aviation industry even safer will be outlined in the Government’s Aviation White Paper, due to be published later this year.