Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : November 2009 Contents 41
NOVEMBER 2009 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
overseas contracts, although possible op-
portunities in Asia and the Middle East
had long gestation times, McCulloch said.
e Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei
had been on the radar for several years,
but budgetary and bureaucratic problems
had restrained progress on establishing any
maritime sur veillance operations.
" ere is nothing imminent -- it's a
matter of keeping in touch -- but these
things can happen pretty quickly," Mc-
Cobham had identified maritime sur veil-
lance requirements in the South Pacific
region as well, but the small island nations
lacked the resources to act individually and
it was likely any operation would have to be
operated jointly through the South Pacific
Forum or an overseas aid project.
Rather than a turnkey operation like
Project Sentinel, he believed the likeliest
way for ward in overseas contracts was the
provision of ser vice components, such as
aircraft leasing and modification, equip-
ment installation, data processing and
transmission, and crew training.
Cobham Australia is working in col-
laboration with its $5 billion British parent,
which in its latest annual report recognises
aerial sur veillance has become "one of the
most critical areas of security" for nations
around the world.
Cobham Plc's Bournemouth based busi-
ness provides aerial surveillance for UK
agencies using Dornier 228s and BN-2B
Islanders, but the Australian Coastwatch
contract is by far the biggest sur veillance
operation in the group.
"It certainly gives us something to
sell," McCulloch said. e local company
continues to work on possible upgrades to
its sur veillance aircraft and equipment, and
the possible adoption of unmanned aircraft
and satellite sensors eventually.
Nottage said the group constantly moni-
tors potential replacements for the civil
fleet, dominated by the 11 BAe 146s (in-
cluding a single RJ10), but the British jets,
with comparatively low operating costs, had
proved their value and versatility.
e two 1999 build Avro RJ100s, to be
leased for the Barrow Island services, rep-
resented a technology upgrade for Cobham
Australia, he added.
Peter Nottage has won a prestigious
Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators
award for his contribution to aviation in
e award, to be presented in London's
Guildhall on October 29, crowns an il-
lustrious but sometimes turbulent career for
Nottage, who deferred a university course in
1982 to begin an engineering apprenticeship
with Lloyd Helicopters in Adelaide because
the industry appealed to him.
"I never did get to uni," he told Austral-
In 1985, after completing the four year
apprenticeship, he moved to Gladstone
in Queensland to support Lloyd's tour-
ism operations and, after an expected two
year appointment to launch a new Lloyd
helicopter business in China evaporated
with the proposed project's demise (but
not before useful training with Bell in the
US), he was appointed to support Lloyd's
offshore oil and gas platform services.
A brief stint in 1988 with the National
Safety Council in Victoria followed, but
Nottage had moved again before that or-
ganisation's ignominious collapse in March,
1989 -- enticed back to Lloyd Helicopters
as an engineering manager in Adelaide.
at led to a role establishing helicopter
operations in Burma for Lloyd. en, after
an internal upheaval, he became the engi-
neering manager at the age of 27.
In 1993, Guy Lloyd -- by then running
the largest helicopter operation in the Asia
Pacific region -- sold out to Britain's Bond
Helicopters, and Nottage became Stephen
Bond's technical director in Australia.
He said, guardedly, he "struggled with
the UK culture" and accepted an offer
from Lloyd Aviation directors Adele Lloyd
(Guy's widow) and Warren Seymour to
become head of engineering for the fixed-
wing company in 1995, and later moved
into business development.
He stayed on when Cobham Plc
acquired the company in 2000, becoming
head of government and defence operations
after the British company separated its civil
and defence businesses, and taking over
full management in January 2006 when the
chief executive of civil operations, Daniela
Marsilli, left the group.
Today he leads a diversified aviation
ser vices company well able to ride out eco-
MINING GIANT Cobham operates about 7500 flights annually for the resources sector in Australia and
Papua New Guinea, carrying 130,000 passengers. (Adam Watts)
WEST JET One of 11 Cobham operated QantasLink 717s taxis out at Broome. (Paul Sadler)
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