Australian Flight Tours No More

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Despite a last-ditch effort to change the minds of Australia's government regulators, GOANA Australian Air Safaris is gone -- shut down as of Dec. 31, after 12 years of providing fly-yourself adventures to pilots from around the world. Mal Shipton, who owned the company, blamed the indifference of bureaucrats who imposed a complex set of security rules on his operation and refused to listen to those affected by those rules. "They have stifled the success we had hitherto enjoyed -- all in the name of aviation security," Shipton said on his Web site. "Marjorie and I thank each and every person we have hosted and trust your memories are as fond as mine of a great 12 years, the best in my life," he said. The "Enhanced Aviation Security Package" that was adopted by the Australian government in March required many more fees and approvals, for which there are often months-long backlogs, Shipton said.