The final Aerodrome and Community Forum Meeting was conducted in early December. The Forum consists of Sunshine Coast Council “Facilities” representatives, some of their support team, operators from Caloundra Aerodrome, Councillors and representatives from local Community Organizations.
The forum was informed that repairs have been carried out to fences surrounding the airport as well as the clearing of a fire break. Repairs have been completed to the asphalt on service roads around the airport to ensure the easy and safe navigation of emergency vehicles during wet times of the year.
The runway lights are now 25 years old and require replacement to bring the system into line with today’s safety standards. New lights should be installed and operational around July 2020.
As reported earlier, Council has utilized noise monitors to determine the loudness of aircraft flying overhead. One was set up on the roof of Bellvista Meeting Place, another on the roof of the Indoor Bowls Club in North Rd and the third in Fraser Park in Golden Beach. The noise was monitored and averaged across a period. An average reading of above 75 decibels is considered inappropriate from the view point of Australian Standards. Bellvista Meeting Place registered an average of 69.5 decibels while the other two monitoring centres recorded higher averages, though all averages were in the appropriate range.
Council can move monitoring points as required. Future positioning will be determined by the number of complaints arising from a local community.
Airport Management also made the point that the Fly Neighbourly Agreement only refers to Circuit Training aircraft used by local Caloundra Aerodrome operators. Otherwise the aerodrome is open to all users 24 hours a day.
Residents should also be aware that recent fire emergencies have resulted in even more flights from the airport at all hours of the day and night. Energex has had its helicopter up doing observation work on and damage to electricity poles from recent bush fire emergencies. Refueling of other emergency aircraft has also seen an increase in traffic.
On our estate we experienced a recent incident when a pilot carried out what was perceived by those on the ground as extremely unsafe behaviour. The plane flew in low and appeared to do aerobatics across our area. This was not a local pilot and the behaviour was deplored by everyone. Regretfully these ‘cowboys’ will use the air space above our homes from time to time. Holiday times are often when we can expect this inappropriate pilot behaviour. No one supports this sort of behaviour.
Aerodrome Management is keen to provide various information packs for new residents and keep them informed of the processes available if they have concerns. The sheet also has links where a community member can source further information. A draft copy of one such Information Sheet appears below:
Cr Baberowski believes Caloundra Aerodrome Management should consider all avenues to limit local training circuits to just the operators out of Caloundra Aerodrome. With others flying from even down as far as the Gold Coast to Caloundra Aerodrome to carry out flight training circuits, puts undue pressure on the capacity of the aerodrome to cater for training circuits. It is time to look after local operators who appreciate the need to keep the community onside and fly accordingly.
Aerodrome Management will investigate just what it can do to deter trainers flying their pilots up from Brisbane and surrounds to conduct repetitive circuits above our homes.
Cr Baberowski believes we should continue to lobby both State and Federal Governments for funding to construct a satellite training facility so pilots can safely practise their flying skills with training circuits well away from residential areas.
It was suggested at the meeting when summarizing progress on the upgrade of the Sunshine Coast Airport at Maroochydore, that all aircraft will begin using the new extended main runway from late May 2020. This would be an exciting time for the project!