Aviation activist and entrepreneur Dick Smith today posted a $160,000 cheque to Airservices Australia CEO Jason Harfield to fund a network of weather cameras to be positioned around Australia.
Smith has allocated the funds from the sale of his Citation jet in the USA, and wants Airservices to set up a network similar to that run by NavCanada, which enables pilots to log into their website and see real-time weather conditions around the country.
"I believe one of the most important causes is to try to get a weather cam network as they have in Canada and Alaska," Smith says in the covering letter send to Harfield.
"I have spoken to people [in Canada] and they are very enthusiastic about the great safety advantage provided by the weather cams, and also the fact that because NavCanada has infrastructure on the ground, in many places they can provide the cameras at minimum installation costs.
"I really hope you will take this letter and cheque with the goodwill that is intended and find a way to go ahead and improve aviation safety in this important issue."
Smith told Australian Flying that he had originally offered the money to CASA based on the Alaskan system, which is run by the Federal Aviation Administration, but that CASA turned down the offer.
NavCanada has hundreds of weather cams covering the country. The network is accessed through the NavCanada weather website.