darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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July 15, 2011

Latrobe Valley based aircraft manufacturing firm Gippsland Aeronautics is currently working on two exciting projects to grow the aviation industry in the region.

The firm is developing a ‘stretch’ prototype of its highly successful G8 Airvan and work is also underway to recertify and produce the GA18, commonly known as the Nomad.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester recently inspected the work being carried out by Gippsland Aeronautics with Member for Morwell and Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business Russell Northe.

Mr Chester, who is also the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Roads and Regional Transport, praised the two projects during a speech in Federal Parliament to highlight their importance to the aviation manufacturing in Gippsland.

“Gippsland Aeronautics is the only commercial aircraft manufacturer in Australia. It is renowned for its famous G8 Airvan, which is often described as the ‘ute of the sky’,” Mr Chester told Parliament.

“It is a very practical aircraft and more than 160 have already been sold throughout Australia and the world.

“The company has some very bold plans for the future; they are in the process of developing a prototype for the GA10, which is a stretch version of the Airvan with a bigger payload.

“Another exciting initiative on the way at the moment is to recertify and begin production in Gippsland of the GA18.

“This is an 18-seat, twin turboprop aircraft which is capable of landing and taking off in semi-prepared strips, which is obviously an attraction in developing nations.

“It is a versatile aircraft, and the aim is to have certification by 2014, with production to commence after that date.”

Mr Northe said Gippsland Aeronautics had brought a great deal to the region for many years, and is a major contributor to the local economy.

“With their excellent track record thus far, I have no doubt that they will continue to excel in the aviation industry, and create locally built transportation options not only for our region and country, but also internationally,” Mr Northe said.

Mr Chester said the proposed expansion of Latrobe Regional Airport would help the aviation industry expand in the region. A Latrobe City Council application to the Regional Development Australia Fund currently sits before the Minister for Regional Development, Simon Crean.

“These are very exciting plans and there is an opportunity for all levels of government to work with the industry to help the aviation sector flourish in Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.

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