Has anyone actually done any sums for the Qantas proposal to set up a regional flight training centre?
No flying school in Australia currently puts out 500 students a year. BAE Tamworth covers initial flying training for the RAAF but they are exiting Tamworth for in-house training. Tamworth has multiple runways.
RAAF Point Cook did 100 students a year, but with multiple grass and bitumen runways allowing up to 12 aircraft in the circuit at once. Add in night training and the runways were saturated. Other bases nearby extended the practice flying area. Noise complaints were common.
Albury airport is a single-runway aerodrome, located within the town. Imagine how this flying training would affect operations. For 100 students a year (200 hours each), if each flight lasts one hour, and includes only one take-off and landing, you get 76 take-offs per day. But during circuit training, students do nothing but take-offs and landings, about seven per hour. So, then you'd be looking at many aircraft all trying to do a circuit every eight minutes. For a single runway airport like Albury, even if you stagger the flying training, this would be totally untenable for all operators.
John Bartels, Wodonga
Message out of date
The passing of American evangelist Billy Graham will cause many to reflect on his remarkable opportunity, magnetic personality but tragically out of date message. Using the bible as a "makers manual" is like following the directions of a Satnav that hasn't been updated in 2000 years. His legacy includes the commitment of good people to ideals that compromise mental health, divide communities and generate fear. His influence on American politics and the religious right imposing a black and white template on a technicolor world continues to fuel opposition to marriage equality and prejudice.
The Ruddock review into protections for “religious freedom” owes much to the world view supported by Billy Graham for which “the bus” long ago has left and been replaced by a new model driven by Magda Szubanski, Rodney Croome and Michael Kirby leading to a more inclusive, compassionate, humane and heavenly destination.
Peter MacLeod-Miller, Archdeacon of Albury and the Hume St Matthew's Anglican Church Albury
Stop the blame game
During last week’s sitting of Parliament two senior Labor MPs faced off in the members dining room in a disgraceful confrontation in the Parliament of Victoria.
Following this, I spoke in the Lower House that day about Victorian Labor Ministers blaming the federal government for everything that’s wrong in Victoria.
I reminded the house that tearing up a $1.3 billion contract for the East West Link and wasting millions more fighting the CFA would go a long way towards funding infrastructure in regional Victoria, including the trains on our North East line.
The Labor member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes, emailed me later that day, also blaming the federal government for the lack of financial support for our trains. Ms Symes needs to understand if you are the government, you need to govern. If you cannot, step aside. The train debacle is beyond a joke. Labor has been in power for 15 of the last 19 years and Daniel Andrews has been a minister for 12 of those years. Labor, stop blaming others. Stop fighting amongst yourselves and govern for all of Victoria.