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Joint Media Release
The Hon. Dr Sharman Stone MP
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Federal Member for Murray
Mr Barry Wakelin MP
Federal Member for Grey
16 July 2004
Aviators at one of South Australia's busiest regional airports can now take to the skies with more certainty about local weather conditions.
Dr Sharman Stone, Parliamentary Secretary responsible for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said a ceilometer and visibility meter had been installed on the existing Automatic Weather Station (AWS) at Port Lincoln airport. The ceilometer will provide data on cloud base height and the visibility meter will estimate horizontal visibility.
"Knowing what to expect in the skies above one of South Australia's most important regional airports is a high priority for the local aviation industry," Dr Stone said.
"In summer, moist south easterlies off Spencer Gulf can become trapped by the surrounding hills and cause low cloud to pool over Port Lincoln resulting in fog and possible flight delays.
"This upgrade will deliver continuous observations in the level of cloud cover and visibility over Port Lincoln making forecasts for the local aviation industry more reliable. And for the first time, pilots at Port Lincoln can access this information in real time via recorded phone messages or through the Bureau's Internet site."
Dr Stone praised Mr Barry Wakelin, Federal Member for Grey, for his commitment to ensuring that the local community of Port Lincoln benefited from improvements to the Bureau of Meteorology's extensive observational network.
"Port Lincoln is part of the Bureau of Meteorology's network of more than 500 AWS stations nationwide. Mr Wakelin has worked hard to include this part of South Australia in this network," Dr Stone said.
Mr Wakelin welcomed the news and said the new observations were important for the continued safety of the local aviation industry.
"The Bureau of Meteorology's decision to install ceilometer and visibility meter sensors at Port Lincoln was made in consultation with the local aviation industry. Port Lincoln joins 60 other aerodromes that are equipped with these sensors," Mr Wakelin said.
"This upgrade is an investment in the safety of the many aircraft, crew and passengers that use Port Lincoln airport each week. Having continuous access to high quality information on cloud and visibility will give aviators greater certainty in interpreting Port Lincoln's unique local weather conditions."
All observations of weather from Port Lincoln will be displayed on the Bureau's web site at www.bom.gov.au as are observations from all other Automatic Weather Stations across the country.