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Dick Smith urges former deputy PM to ‘use influence’ to save lives in airspace

Entrepreneur Dick Smith has written an open letter to former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson urging him to “use his influence” to help change airspace laws which he is adamant will “save lives”.

Mr Smith said Australia currently has a system where airline aircrafts are “flying around in cloud” not under air traffic control forcing pilots to contact each other in order to avoid collisions.

He said no other country in the world other than “small parts of Africa” have such a system, and it was due to be reformed when John Anderson was transport minister in 2002.

“Under John Anderson we were going to change to the US system where all the airline aircraft in cloud are under air traffic control; That never happened, we’ve now had 15 fatalities in uncontrolled airspace,” Mr Smith said.

“In the days with John Anderson, he wasn’t a Greg Hunt Health Minster type, he didn’t get up and sell the system. You had some pilots who believed that flying around in uncontrolled airspace was ok."

“John Anderson never got up and sold it, and because of that it never happened”.

Mr Smith said he wrote the open letter to the former deputy prime minister in part to “stir up some publicity,” but also to convince Mr Anderson of the need for urgent reform.

“I believe he’d be horrified when he reads my letter and realizes there’s been 15 fatalities. He’ll want to do something about it”.

“I’m talking to the current minister too, he’s arranged a meeting, he said he’s going to see what he can do about it.

“John Anderson is the key I think to bringing it in because he can use his influence.”

Mr Anderson has told Sky News he hasn't yet received Mr Smith's letter but said in a statement he sees "no advantage" for aviation or the public in "rehashing of our different perspectives".

Entrepreneur Dick Smith has written an open letter to former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson urging him to “use his influence” to assist change airspace legal guidelines which he’s adamant will “save lives”.

Mr Smith mentioned Australia at the moment has a system the place airline aircrafts are “flying around in cloud” not below air site visitors management forcing pilots to contact one another in order to keep away from collisions.

He mentioned no different nation in the world apart from “small parts of Africa” have such a system, and it was due to be reformed when John Anderson was transport minister in 2002.

“Under John Anderson we were going to change to the US system where all the airline aircraft in cloud are under air traffic control; That never happened, we’ve now had 15 fatalities in uncontrolled airspace,” Mr Smith mentioned.

“In the times with John Anderson, he wasn’t a Greg Hunt Health Minster sort, he didn’t rise up and promote the system. You had some pilots who believed that flying round in uncontrolled airspace was okay.”

“John Anderson never got up and sold it, and because of that it never happened”.

Mr Smith mentioned he wrote the open letter to the former deputy prime minister in half to “stir up some publicity,” but in addition to persuade Mr Anderson of the necessity for pressing reform.

“I believe he’d be horrified when he reads my letter and realizes there’s been 15 fatalities. He’ll want to do something about it”.

“I’m speaking to the present minister too, he’s organized a gathering, he mentioned he’s going to see what he can do about it.

“John Anderson is the key I think to bringing it in because he can use his influence.”

Mr Anderson has informed Sky News he hasn’t but acquired Mr Smith’s letter however mentioned in an announcement he sees “no advantage” for aviation or the general public in “rehashing of our different perspectives”.

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