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Media Release

Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald
Parliamentary Secretary to the
Minister for the Environment


29 April 1998

Perth residents and aviation users will be better served by weather forecasts coming from the new Perth Airport Meteorological Office at Perth Airport which was opened today (Wednesday).

Speaking at the commissioning of the new office today (Wednesday), Parliamentary Secretary for the Bureau of Meteorology, Senator Ian Macdonald said the new office will provide essential information to the general community and the aviation industry.

"The new office uses state of the art technology to collect the data that will allow forecasters to predict with greater skill weather conditions in the Perth area.

"Funding for the new office was facilitated by an increased allocation given in the first Howard Budget which overcame serious cutbacks in funding over the previous decade.

"This is the fourth location of the Bureau's office within the airport grounds since operations began at Perth Airport 54 years ago. It is important for maintaining continuity in the climate record that this will be the last.

"The old office was located nearer to the low-lying areas of the airport which tended to affect the readings. The site of the new office was chosen so that the observations would better reflect conditions over the whole aerodrome," Senator Macdonald said.

The office produces aviation weather reports every half hour which provide essential information for aviation operations operating in and out of Perth Airport. This information is vital to allow operators the necessary time to plan alternative flight paths and diversions if necessary due to poor conditions.

"This will greatly improve the Bureau's service to the aviation industry by providing 24 hour up to date weather reports. Conditions such as fogs, thunderstorms, severe low level turbulence and low visibility due to haze can occur with little warning," Senator Macdonald said.

The design of the new office meets current operational requirements and will also allow greater adaptability for future requirements. The new office has been constructed using thermally efficient, low maintenance cladding and has solar hot water heating.

"These features are part of a new design which leads to quicker construction of an energy efficient building that leads to considerable cost savings because of lower energy costs," Senator Macdonald said.

29 April 1998

For more information contact Philip Connole (07) 4771 3066 or 0411 042 813

Commonwealth of Australia