The following ’email’ has been written by BeCA in an effort to raise the proposal of the construction of a satellite Helicopter Training Facility. BeCA would anticipate that building such a facility would remove many of the annoying repetitive circuits by helicopters from above our homes:
Recently the Bellvista Community Association Management Committee (BeCA) was addressed by several senior members of “Chopperline”, the helicopter training school operating out of Caloundra Airport.
It is the helicopters out of Chopperline which seem to cause Bellvista residents the most grief with their repetitive training circuits over residents’ homes.
Dialogue has been set up between BeCA and Chopperline in an effort to manage this difficult situation. A regular exchange of views enables procedures to be put in place to address concerns. BeCA acknowledges that Bellvista is situated beside an Airport and some reasonable aircraft noise is to be expected. The movement of fixed wing aircraft can be disruptive but is not the major concern of residents. Projections indicate aircraft movements out of Caloundra Airport are to double in the next 20 years.
We understand Chopperline is a commercial business and a profit making concern. Unfortunately the major training area, especially for ‘touch and go’ circuits, brings these helicopters directly over the homes of Bellvista residents. These repetitive touch and go circuits make life extremely difficult for many residents, especially those surrounding or beneath circuit flight paths, shift workers and families enjoying the outdoor lifestyle in their own backyards. Helicopters are not renowned for being quiet and are quite disruptive, especially during repetitive training touch and go circuits.
We believe that via regular communication between BeCA and Chopperline we can attempt to manage complaints regarding this difficult situation in the short term.
However as Caloundra South grows, especially as the new development at Bells Reach comes online, the situation will worsen and even more complaints will arise because of the intrusion of aircraft (mainly helicopter) noise especially from the repetitive training circuits over people’s homes.
The idea that extra insulation and sound proofing of homes in Bells Reach will solve the problem is a furphy. In S.E. Queensland people do not spend 24 hours a day inside their homes with their windows shut. Proposed sound proofing will not extend into people’s backyards for outdoor family activities nor be effective as people open windows and doors to capture prevailing cooler sea breezes.
This situation regarding houses being built directly under helicopter training areas has been created by the State Government and the developers. Government allowed the building of Bellvista beside Caloundra Airport and directly beneath the major helicopter training area. It was the State Government which then, to the dismay of all and sundry, decided not to relocate Caloundra Airport to a more convenient (and safer) area for ‘financial’ reasons. It is government which has decreed that Caloundra South is to be a major residential development area for South East Queensland. And it will be the developers who benefit financially from this decision.
A potential solution endorsed both by both BeCA and Chopperline would be the creation of a satellite helicopter training facility which would cater for the major source of concern for residents, the repetitive helicopter circuits. A satellite facility could be created where there are no houses and helicopter trainees could practise their take offs and landings and not be of any disruption to the 50,000+ residents of Bellvista, Bells Reach and Caloundra South. BeCA believes the funding of the building of the facility should be from the group which created the problem or people who are to gain financially from the development, i.e. government and the developers.
BeCA was advised by Chopperline representatives that a rough calculation of requirements for a basic satellite facility would put the cost at around $250,000 (not including government land). If this were an accurate estimate, it seems a cheap price to pay to solve a problem and improve the lifestyle and selling potential of future home sites making up Bellvista, Bells Reach and Caloundra South.
BeCA urges stake holders to consider this proposal and work towards a solution for all current and future residents affected by helicopter training.
This email will be forwarded to local MP Mark McArdle, our current SCRC Councillor, Anna Grosskreutz, Stockland and Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Peter Pallot as the major stakeholders.
A copy will also be forwarded to Chopperline for their records.
A copy will also be placed on our website for public information.
President Bellvista Community Association