Two BeCA Representatives attended the June Caloundra Aerodrome Forum meeting at Caloundra Council Offices on Wednesday evening 4th June. Also in attendance were SCA (Sunshine Coast Airport) Management, representatives from other community groups, Qld Air Museum and businesses based at the aerodrome.
Sunshine Coast Airports General Manager Peter Pallot opened the meeting with an assurance that negotiations for the Satellite Helicopter Training Facility were progressing well, with a lot of good will between all stakeholders. The interim solution to the repetitive helicopter training circuits that have been a huge issue for Bellvista, Bells Reach and surrounding areas in the past months is now within sight.
However it was made very clear that certain aspects of helicopter training in and around the aerodrome would not cease completely, due to students needing to be at a certain competency level before they are able to venture further afield.
Just like young learner drivers on our roads, they need to have confidence in the skills they are learning and the flight instructors need to be sure they are ready to take the next steps in their training schedule.
(EDIT) BeCA was informed the the group providing the land for the facility had stated that as a proviso to the agreement, that Caloundra based helicopters would be completing this early phase training at Caloundra Aerodrome. Whether or not this proviso makes it through to the final agreement is yet to be confirmed.
Business Presentation of the night.
There was a very interesting presentation by Will Shrapnel from Heli Mods, a ground based business that has been operating at Caloundra Aerodrome for around 12 years. They are a business that are highly specialised in the field of fitting out and modifications of large helicopters that are used by Emergency Services for Search and Rescue, Firefighting, Medical Evacuations, Airborne Camera & Multimedia Systems, Corporate and Tourism fit outs, are just a few of the services they offer.
An extremely hi tech business that produces most of their own components locally here in Caloundra or close by, and employs local and internationally qualified engineers and developers who live and work here in Caloundra. They are also one of only three businesses world-wide that are certified to carry out this type of work.
Cameron Elmes from the Qld Air Museum advised the attendees of the upcoming Open Cockpit Weekend on the weekend of 5th & 6th July and asked that we make Bellvista/Bells Reach residents aware of the Engine Runs to be conducted twice daily at the event. He also spoke about the Museum’s 40th Anniversary Celebrations coming up soon. There will be a Vintage Plane Fly In for the event, so they are hoping for quite a few older planes from all over coming in, date to be advised.