Before and during World War Two, mapping photographic surveys were performed by the RAAF. The war had highlighted the lack of comprehensive maps of Australia, and in 1945 the need for a dedicated Government department to produce maps and geophysical surveys resulted in the establishment of the National Mapping Council (NMC). A National Mapping Section of the Department of Interior was created in 1947 to actually carry out the tasks defined by the NMC. From 1954 RAAF aircraft were replaced by civilian contractors in the mapping role.
By 1956 the work had expanded sufficiently to justify the creation of the Division of National Mapping (Nat Map). For the next thirty years Nat Map conducted geodetic, topographic and other mapping tasks within Australia and also in Antarctica and Papua New Guinea. Aircraft operations were normally conducted by civilian contractors, but in 1978 a dedicated Aviation Section was formed to take over some of these tasks.
In 1987 Nat Map became AUSLIG – the Australian Surveying and Land Information Group – formed from the merger of the Division of National Mapping and the Australian Survey Office. In 1995 the Aviation Section was closed down. In 2001 AUSLIG was merged with the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO) to form Geoscience Australia
|March 1945||National Mapping Council (NMC) established.|
|1947||National Mapping Section of Department of Interior created.|
|1951||National Mapping Section becomes National Mapping Office.|
|1954||First use of contracted civil aircraft.|
|2 August 1956||Division of National Mapping first formed.|
|1978||Aviation Section created.|
|24 July 1987||Division of National Mapping merged into AUSLIG.|
|1995||Aviation Section disbanded.|
|September 2001||Geoscience Australia established.|
The Aviation Section was disbanded in 1995.
National Mapping aircraft operated in a wide variety of colour schemes. It appears only the Cessna 421 carried any service titles, i.e. ‘Department of Resources & Energy – Division of National Mapping’, which were displayed on the fuselage.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
National Mapping aircraft carried standard Australian civil aircraft registrations, e.g. Cessna 421 VH-DRB.
Coding system not used.
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
(Nat Map owned only – excludes chartered and ANARE aircraft).
|Aircraft Type||Quantity||Service Entry||Out of Service||Origin|
|Cessna U206F Stationair||1||1982||1987||USA|
|Cessna 337 Super Skymaster||1||1987||1995||USA|
|Cessna 421C Golden Eagle||1||1982||1995||USA|
|GAF N22B Nomad||1||1976||1982||Australia|
Aircraft NOT Used
No false reports known.
Aircraft Losses and Incidents
Division of National Mapping, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.
There are no sub-units to the Nat Map Aviation Section.
Current Unit Assignments
Historical Unit Assignments
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
All-Time Air Bases Used List
To be added.
To be added
To be added