Last night (Weds) 3 representatives from BeCA attended the quarterly Caloundra Aerodrome Forum meeting chaired by Sunshine Coast Airport GM Peter Pallot.
Simon Kinchington reported on the latest developments relating to the Caloundra Aerodrome Master Plan and in particular the proposed Satellite Helicopter Training Facility.
Simon reported that last week an agreement had been reached with the State Government for a parcel of land to be made available for Maroochydore based helicopter companies to use an area for helicopter training touch and go’s and resultant repetitive circuits. This is merely a large open space well away from any residential area.
This may explain why local residents have seen fewer Becker Helicopter Services aircraft overhead recently.
A similar agreement is being investigated for use by helicopter training companies out of Caloundra Aerodrome. The aim of the potential helicopter satellite field is to allow Caloundra based helicopters doing repetitive circuits for ‘touch n gos’ to use this area rather than over the top of our homes. This will be a relief for Bellvista/Bells Reach residents as we will be spared the noisy repetitive circuits of helicopters. There has been a large noisy helicopter doing circuits this morning. Soon this could be a thing of the past!
For many years residents have remarked why don’t the helicopters use the large open unpopulated areas to the south for their training? It seems this is now what may happen.
This does not mean we residents will be rid of helicopters altogether, but that the majority of repetitive circuits could be completed elsewhere. There may be a need from time to time for repetitive circuits to occur over our homes but these should be lessened dramatically.
BeCA believes this could be a huge win for both residents and for the helicopter operators.
BeCA expects to learn more details when a deputation meets with local MP Mark McArdle on Friday at his offices to discuss the repetitive circuits by helicopters situation.
The Caloundra Aerodrome Forum meeting enjoyed an informative information session given by Bellvista resident Cameron Elmes, a volunteer at the Queensland Air Museum. This session was extremely informative and provided an insight into the current operation of the Air Museum and its plans into the future. The arrival of the F111 has had a huge impact on the operation of the museum with attendances increasing remarkably.
It was reported that there is an increase of interest from several businesses wishing to move to Caloundra Aerodrome. These interests include another helicopter repair company and an existing business wishing to expand.
Aircraft Flight Movement figures have now been collected for around 12 months. During July there were around 1600 movements, 51% fixed wing aircraft, 29% ultra lights and 20% helicopters. (see the pdf below)
It appears previously projected annual totals were well above the reality and that total flights are not near what had been previously estimated.
There was only 1 recorded complaint from nearby residents on aircraft behaviour for the last quarter and that was during October. Mick Graham from Golden Beach Progress Association queried these figures as he had received a copy of a written complaint from a resident complaining about 4 hours of low repetitive circuits over his home by a helicopter during late September. The original complaint had been mailed to the SC Airport late in September but had not been recorded on the figures shown to the Forum Meeting. This was to be investigated by SC Airport Administration.
There was some general discussion on the future viability of some Airports in SE Queensland. Both Archerfield and Redcliffe were being encroached upon by residential developments and were cutting back their services. The growth of Bells Reach and its proximity to Caloundra Aerodrome was another area of concern.
The meeting closed at 6:45pm.