Travel safe this Christmas

Media Release

WT435/2015

22 December 2015

The Christmas and New Year holiday period provides a welcome opportunity for many Australians to take a break, often including trips to holiday destinations across the country and overseas.

All travellers need to play a role in ensuring this period is relaxing, safe and enjoyable for everyone, whether it is by being patient and attentive on long road trips or following a few tips to make air travel as hassle-free as possible.

Drivers can make sure their trip is a safe one by planning trips with plenty of rest breaks, sharing driving duties where possible. No-one should drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Keep hands off mobile phones while at the wheel, respect all speed limits and drive to the conditions.

While it's important to remember the holiday season is a particularly busy time on the nation's roads, it is also one of the busiest times at airports.

Those Australians flying to holiday destinations or to meet friends and family can make their journey easier for themselves and fellow travellers by arriving at the airport in plenty of time and making sure they are aware of security screening requirements.

Travellers should also be respectful to airport and airline staff who are assisting them and follow their instructions at all times.

More information to help you clear airport security checks as quickly and easily as possible is available at http://travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/.

Priority for Santa!

Finally, as the Minister responsible for air safety regulation, I have issued an instruction to air traffic controllers to give priority to all flying reindeer on 24 December.

This will ensure that their precious cargo will have priority access across Australian airspace.

Airport curfews and noise limits will be suspended for reindeer on Christmas Eve so they can continue to operate throughout the night. Reindeer will also be allowed to fly below usual flight levels when visiting homes where children live.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. Please stay safe if you are travelling over the holidays.