The first RAAF officer to become Chief of Defence Staff has been honoured with the renaming of a key road at Canberra Airport.
The main thoroughfare into the Fairbairn precinct has been renamed Scherger Drive in a ceremony presided over by Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.
Canberra Airport Managing Director Stephen Byron said Sir Frederick Scherger was the first RAAF officer to be promoted to the four star rank of Air Chief Marshal.
“We believe it is important that we sustain both the historical and contemporary links between Canberra Airport and the Australian Defence Force, particularly the RAAF, and we are delighted that the current CDF Air Chief Marshal Binskin joins us here today.”
Air Chief Marshal Binskin said during his flying days ‘Scherg’ was widely regarded as the RAAF’s most outstanding pilot.
“He was awarded the Australian Flying Cross in 1940 for his exceptional service as a pilot and flying instructor. He was one of the few Australians to command American Air Forces and later, British Commonwealth Forces and brought significant operational experience to the role of Chief of Air Staff. After his retirement from the RAAF he headed the Australian National Airlines Commission and the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation.
“It is fitting that a road in the airport precinct in our nation’s capital will now bear the name of a man who played such an influential role in Australia’s military and civilian aviation history.”
Mr Byron said the renaming also addressed the practical issue of Fairbairn Avenue being dissected by the civil development of the airport and the extension of the runway during the 1970s, and the road previously having two names – Fairbairn Avenue and Glenora Drive.
“Those accessing RAAF Base Fairbairn, including visiting dignitaries, as well as the businesses and government and defence agencies located here all travel along this thoroughfare.
“It is no mean feat to change a road name, and we would like to thank the National Capital Authority and the ACT Government for their assistance in renaming the road alignment.
“Scherger was something of a trailblazer – an exceptional airman, highly decorated and later an astute leader and quite visionary in his contribution to defence acquisition and strategic policy development – a most appropriate person to honour at Canberra Airport,” Mr Byron said.
More information on Sir Frederick Scherger is available here