This meeting was conducted last night in SCRC Caloundra Chambers. Councillor Grosskreutz was quick to point out that there were no members representing the Airport Aviation Industry present. It was suggested Airport management remind Airport Industries of their obligation to have representatives in attendance at meetings and to ensure Airport Industry representatives do attend the next meeting in February.
SCRC, local residents associations (including BeCA) and Airport Management were present.
Most discussion centred on the decision not to relocate the airport and ramifications for Council, the Airport and the Caloundra community.
Cr Grosskreutz spoke of the limiting effect this decision had on the development of the commercial interests of Caloundra. A major commercial centre will now not be built on the airport site meaning a loss of between 10,000 and 11,000 jobs for the Sunshine Coast. However the decision meant the employment of between 200 and 300 workers at the airport would be ensured. Caloundra could no longer become a major commercial centre on the Sunshine Coast. Residents will need to travel to Kawana or to the the yet to be built Caloundra South city centres for a major shopping precinct.
The Bellvista2 development will certainly be effected by aircraft and airport noise resulting in building modifications and increased housing costs to buyers.
The government decision not to relocate the airport was made solely on financial grounds. SCRC had argued the sale price of the airport site to developers would have offset the airport relocation costs. The planned CAMCOS corridor will now require a rethink and may have a negative effect on Caloundra’s future access to the corridor.
Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Peter Pallot spoke of the plans to further develop the airport. An airport ‘Master Plan’ would be created to map out the future direction of the airport. Peter made the point that community input would be sought on all facets of this development. The Master Plan would form the basis of the airport development over the next 10 to 15 years. SCRC funding is to be provided to develop the Master Plan. As all funding is currently locked in, funds will not be available from the SCRC for at least 12 months to allow master planning to begin in earnest.
Peter then spoke of the issues to be addressed in the Master Plan. Noise issues were a major consideration because of the the potential for airport industries to be expanded. Peter was at length to make the point that airport expansion did not necessarily mean decidedly more aircraft movements. There are already aircraft renovation businesses as well as other associated industries operating at the airport which could be expanded without increasing aircraft movements. The three resident groups present then questioned Peter about the possibility of increased future helicopter movements. It was obvious the helicopter noise problem was a major concern for all resident groups and Cr Grosskreutz.
Peter Pallot repeatedly made the point that community involvement would be sought in all areas relating to the development of the “Master Plan”. Cr Grosskreutz suggested that the behaviour of current businesses be considered in providing them with the possibility for future expansion opportunities.
The meeting went on to discuss aircraft ‘noise complaints’. It was reported that “90% of noise complaints are made up of complaints about one helicopter”. Over the last three months there has been a fall in the number of complaints registered. BeCA representatives commented that these figures did not count the 30+ emails they had forwarded to Airport Management to report inappropriate behaviour of helicopters over the estate since June 24th.
However it was agreed there had been improvement in the behaviour of helicopters over the estate especially over the last 6 weeks. This may be because of where helicopter training classes are at this time and that training flights are not being undertaken just now. It is possible this situation could change if a new intake of trainee pilots were to occur.
BeCA has requested that if possible residents be warned in advance of days of excessive helicopter movements over the estate. Airport Management will explore this suggestion with a view to residents being pre warned of days of excessive movements via this website.
BeCA will be conducting an informal meeting with Rod Miller who has temporarily replaced Danny Eatock as Manager of the Caloundra Aerodrome in the near future. Danny Eatock has left the organisation to pursue other career possibilities.
Cr Grosskreutz will be addressing this issue as well as others when she addresses the next BeCA Public Meeting on November 8th at the Land Sales Office beginning at 6:45pm.
The next Caloundra Aerodrome Community and Aviation Industry Forum meeting will be held on February 1st 2011.