The Caloundra Aerodrome Community Forum met recently at Council Offices in Caloundra. These meetings are now under the control of Sunshine Coast Property Management rather than the Sunshine Coast Aerodrome Management. Usually there are 4 meetings per year but during the changeover, the first meeting for 2015 was conducted late in May rather than early March.
It was reported that a new 30 year lease has been made to Helimods. As this company will fit out larger aircraft, a concern was raised regarding the use of Caloundra Aerodrome on a regular basis by ‘larger’ aircraft. It was reported that any aircraft movement would generally be limited to receipt and delivery (i.e. two movements with approximate 3 month intervals). It was noted that it was expected there should be a high economic benefit delivered to the Sunshine Coast with minimal noise impact.
Of much interest to Bellvista and Bells Reach residents was the issue regarding “Aircraft Operations, Helicopter Satellite Training Update”. Rod Miller from Sunshine Coast Aerodrome Management provided the updates.
He advised that Sunshine Coast Airport Operations have been reviewing how flight training is conducted at the Aerodrome by ‘third party’ operators, i.e. operators who are non-resident at Caloundra Aerodrome. Measures are being considered to restrict training operations to minimise impacts on surrounding areas including frequency of operations and hours of operation.
Rod noted that it is intended that approximately 70% of training activities will be conducted at helicopter satellite training facilities including ‘touch-and-go’ and other repetitive manoeuvres. Some training, approximately 30%, must however be conducted at the Aerodrome to complete training requirements.
Rod reported that longer term satellite facilities being pursued with former Liberal State Government at the northern end of Bribie Island have stalled with the recent change of State Government. SCA have been advised by officers that the satellite facility is no longer a priority of the current State Government. Rod advised that SCA will continue to pursue the establishment of the satellite facility as previously proposed.
Becker helicopters have not been operating out of the Caloundra Aerodrome over the past 2.5 months – they have been utilising the north Bribie Island area without complaint.
In a meeting with former ALP Candidate Jason Hunt earlier this year, BeCA requested he arrange a meeting with BeCA representatives and the new State Government regarding a Satellite Helicopter Training facility permanent solution. The Bribie Island site was always going to be difficult to argue because of conservation issues. BeCA believes that much of the ‘spade work’ on the permanent solution had been completed by the former State Government.
BeCA is also prepared to meet with Independent State Parliament member Peter Wellington to discuss the permanent solution issue.
Cr Baberowski strongly supported the implementation of conditions of operation being placed on third party operators to reduce the potential for detrimental impact on the aerodrome of those activities. Cr Tim Dwyer requested that SCA provide further details on proposed conditions of operation and other measures for aviation activities at the aerodrome, including any costs or charges to be applied to ‘non-resident’ operators. It was noted that fees and charges may need to be reviewed to actively discourage over-use by outside operators to the detriment of the aerodrome. The suggestion was strongly supported by Cr Baberowski and Cr Robinson.
BeCA representatives commented on positives arising from the meeting and were supportive of possible restrictions to third party operations around the Aerodrome. It was also mentioned that there were no concerns voiced to BeCA by residents regarding aircraft maintenance activities, repetitive aircraft movements was the major concern of residents.
The next Airport Forum Meeting will be held on August 18.