BeCA and Airways Aviation (formerly Chopperline) have a difference of opinion regarding repetitive circuits by helicopters on Anzac Day morning.
BeCA is unable to reproduce Airways Aviation’s email at their request.
Overall it appears the company felt justified flying at that time on that day as they had a special student request to do so and that Airways Aviation’s trainer pilots had returned from attending Anzac Day Dawn services themselves. And as BeCA has conceded, they were within their rights to do so. They deliberately delayed any flights until 9:15 am.
They also commented that other groups were working on that day citing SC Council rubbish collections.
They commented they operate conservatively, lawfully and respectfully with full regard and respect for Bellvista and Bells Reach residents.
To which BeCA has replied (some editing has occurred to protect the student who requested the early training):
“I have deliberately waited several days to respond to your email forwarded to BeCA following your investigations. I want my response to be considered and outside the heat of the moment.
Management decides when you are going to conduct training. That it was a student who wanted to fly is irrelevant. It was Anzac Day, one of the most solemn days (especially the morning) on the Australian calendar and your company elected to conduct repetitive circuits. I concede you were well within your rights to do so according to the current guidelines.
The recent behaviour of Becker Helicopters over our estate was deplorable and deliberate. From a public relations viewpoint, I believe your company’s decision to conduct repetitive circuits at that time on that day was therefore poorly conceived in the current climate.
The Bellvista Community Association is not responsible for any phone calls you received regarding your decision to conduct repetitive circuits on that day at that time. Any inappropriate call you received is also irrelevant to the situation and to BeCA. The channels of complaint of which you speak in your email are included on our website for the information of residents.
Possibly the forcefulness of the call you received is indicative of how strong the feeling of some residents was and possibly how incorrect the decision to fly on that solemn morning was.
I expect that all Bellvista residents would have much preferred the rattle of Council Rubbish collection trucks compared to the noise we experienced for over an hour by up to two helicopters doing repetitive circuits on Anzac Day morning.
BeCA rarely if ever receives comments on its website to posts. We received 5 comments on this issue.
We are always available to meet with Chopperline/Airways Aviation and look forward to doing so.
As you said in your reply email, we have a difference of opinion.
Les Thomas, BeCA”