Australia’s four “Big Four” will be joining New Zealand in a multi-nation airlift of a single, super-light, low-cost “airlift” plane to take a team of Australians to and from Australia to New Zealand, the nation’s defence secretary has announced.
Key points:Australia will join the Big Three of New Zealand (Brisbane-based Boeing) and South Korea (Korean air carrier KAL) in a three-plane “Air Lift” aircraft, the Defence Minister saidThe four “Brisbers” will arrive in Australia by late August, and will join three other countries from which the four “Three Lions” will travel – Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom – before heading to Japan.
The announcement comes just days after New Zealand announced it was setting up an airlift centre in Sydney for the “Billion Dollar Airlift”.
New Zealand’s prime minister, John Key, described the plan as “very ambitious” and said the four would travel from Sydney to Canberra, New Zealand.
The four members of the Australian Air Force (AAF) will be based at the newly-constructed airlift facility at Parramatta Air Station in NSW.
The Australian Government said the aircraft would be used for training, maintenance and resupply.
Mr Key said the Australians would use the aircraft “for the safe transport of personnel and equipment, to and fro between Australia and New Zealand”.
“It will be the first time the Australian Defence Force has deployed an operational aircraft in a large-scale airlift,” he said.
“It’s an important step in the Australian Government’s efforts to modernise the nation, expand the defence capability and modernise Australia’s aviation industry.”
We know how important the role of aviation is in the lives of Australians, and this is just the first step towards the long-term future of aviation.
“Australia will also be the only country that will not be joining the “Three Lion” group.
New Zealand and the UK are the only other nations that have been invited to join the “Big Three” airlift.
The Australian Airforce (AAF), the Royal Australian Air force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force are the four nations involved in the airlift program, which was announced last week.
The plan is to begin in September, with the first “Boomers” arriving by mid-August.
It’s not clear how long the airlifts will take to complete, but Mr Key said they would cost about $50 million each, with $30 million of that coming from the Australian Federal Government.
Brisings will be delivered by a single aircraft, capable of flying from Sydney or Melbourne to Canberra in about one hour, from Sydney in about 15 minutes and from Melbourne in about 45 minutes. “
Aero has the capability to transport about 4,000 people from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra in less than a day and provide the necessary fuel to make this a realistic and sustainable endeavour,” Mr Key wrote in the document.
“Brisings will be delivered by a single aircraft, capable of flying from Sydney or Melbourne to Canberra in about one hour, from Sydney in about 15 minutes and from Melbourne in about 45 minutes.
Airlifting from Australia will require approximately 2,400 tonnes of fuel per aircraft.”
New Zealand will also not be part of the “big four” in the “airlifts” because of the cost.
New Zealander James Taylor, the country’s chief medical officer, said the cost of the plane would be $6.7 million, including its operating cost.
In a statement on Monday, Mr Key praised the “great commitment” of New Zealanders for “the contribution of the New Zealand military and the New Zealands to the international security of Australia”.
“We are very proud to be part and are looking forward to joining New Zealand all the other nations of the world in their commitment to a safe and sustainable airlift, for which New Zealand is a major contributor,” he wrote.
“These planes are the future of air travel.”