ROLE OF QANTAS IN THE DARWIN EMERGENCY

 

 

A total of 13 flights, comprising 4 B.747's and 9 B.707's were operated between Darwin and Sydney for evacuation purposes and carriage of emergency stores between 26th December 1974 and 4th January 1975.

As a result, approximately 4,900 persons were evacuated and more than 63 tonnes of emergency supplies of food and equipment were carried to Darwin. Also, several hundred members of relief teams of police, government department members, and armed services were conveyed to Darwin.

As far as ground handling in Darwin was concerned, Qantas co-operated with the domestic carriers and Government agencies in assisting with the handling of passengers and baggage for more than 30 R.A.A.F. evacuation flights in addition to despatching our own Qantas services.

A single side band radio communication was set up to enable communication with our Head Office in Sydney for flight control information and requests for equipment etc. We were also able to relay flight information to the domestic carriers for their services.

Two Qantas employed Doctors and two nurses arrived from Sydney and set up a medical centre at the Airport which operated between 26th and 31st December. As this was the major period of evacuation, assistance was rendered to those in need of medical attention who were travelling on all flights. A nursing sister was also provided on board every service operated by Qantas out of Darwin during the critical evacuation period.

Tradesmen, engineers, electronics and security personnel were conveyed to Darwin as quickly as possible to restore offices and equipment essential to the smooth operation of our services.

The Qantas Catering Centre at the Airport provided meals and beverages for people from all organisations working at the Airport during the evacuation period.

We believe we establisheed a world record in the number of uplifts for a single B.747 of 675 passengers on the morning of 29th December 1974. At no stage however were safety regulations breached.


(This document is unsigned)

Source: (45)
Northern Territory Archives Service
Commissioner of Police
NTRS 3002
Administration files relating to Cyclone Tracy
1974-1975
Reports on Cyclone duty

 

SOURCE

 

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