Jun 12, 2014

Abbott must reject air safety cuts

The Abbott Government must rule out a cost-cutting proposal by Airservices Australia that would see it close air traffic control operations in Sydney, Adelaide and Cairns.

The proposal to centralise national air-traffic control in Brisbane and Melbourne does not pass the common sense test and should be rejected immediately, as it has been in the past.

ABC radio has revealed that Airservices Australia proposes reducing costs by amalgamating terminal control units, which monitor airspace around airports.

Air-traffic control would be run out of Brisbane and Melbourne under the proposal.

Airservices Australia floated this cost-cutting proposal the last time Warren Truss was Transport Minister but it was rejected when Mark Vaile became minister in 2006.

Now that Warren Truss has returned as transport minister, this proposal is also back.

Mr Truss should reject it like his predecessors did.

Australia has an enviable record of air safety because governments of all political persuasions have always put safety first and regarded the issue as being above politics.

Air-traffic controllers do an important job bringing local knowledge to monitoring air safety.

On aviation safety, is it always better to be safe than sorry.