Two representatives from BeCA attended the meeting on Tuesday evening at the Caloundra Council Offices. Also in attendance was the CEO of the Sunshine Coast Airport, Peter Pallot, other Airport officials and Project Officers, SCRC representatives including Cr Tim Dwyer and representatives from the Ratepayers Association, Golden Beach Progress Association, Halcyon Park as well as two Airport Business owners.
Now that the state government has decided the Caloundra airport is not to be relocated, a Master Plan is being formulated to map out the airport’s future development. The master plan will also include community involvement. The Sunshine Coast Airport (Maroochydore) Management Team also oversee the Caloundra Airport.
As the airport is not to be relocated, its industries now need to expand to survive. However current residential land requirements will mean the actual land size of the airport cannot be extended. All expansion will need to occur on the current site.
It is expected the early stages of the Master Plan will be presented to SCRC in March with a final plan and report due to go before Council in August 2011.
The Golden Beach representative then mentioned that possibly up to 12 businesses plan to be relocated from Maroochydore Airport to Caloundra which would create even greater accommodation plans for Caloundra Airport industries.
A representative from Sunshine Coast Skydivers stated that as they do not have a lease beyond 2014 they are unable to get finance to extend the business. Without a lease he cannot sell his business as it is worthless. His business will go from being one of the biggest and best Skydiving businesses in Australia to bankruptcy if his lease isn’t extended. Extending the lease would mean he (and other current Caloundra Airport businesses) would be able to further expand their businesses
Much of the discussion then centred on the how best the SCRC and Airport Management could overcome the current lease problem and therefore be able to provide security for Airport businesses going forward. However all this needs to happen under the proposed Master Plan.
BeCA representatives then raised the subject of “Community Friendly” industries preferably being granted extensions to leases. The discussion then turned to ‘cowboy’ operators and how they need to be weeded from the Caloundra Airport’s operations.
Currently aircraft can land and take off from the Caloundra Airport at no charge. This is why we sometimes have aircraft taking off and landing during night hours. They fly up from further down the coast, do their take-off and landing practice at no charge, then return to their home airport. It is envisaged that after the adoption of the Master Plan there will be some charges (at comparatively higher rates) for aircraft who elect to do this. It is via these charges that control can be exercised on use of airport facilities.
The next item for discussion was Bellvista2. Airport Management has a meeting planned with the Urban Land Development Authority who are overseeing the development of Bellvista2 and Caloundra South on February 9th. It was commented that some Bellvista 2 houses built near the airport would require double glazing and air conditioning. That these homes would need to be continually closed up to the outside world and have their air conditioning operating 24 hours a day. This lifestyle was not one which reflects the current everyday lifestyle of people living in Queensland.
It was then stated quite categorically, “Residential area and Airports do not mix!”
The topic of Noise Complaints was raised. The number of resident complaints regarding noise has fallen remarkably over time. However by far the greatest source of complaint was for helicopters as the graph below shows.
Complaints were then grouped by Suburb from which the complaint was from. Therefore some people who said “Caloundra West” may have been from “Bellvista”. The graph can be seen below.
BeCA argued that some of these complaint figures may be flawed as people who complained back in April felt they wouldn’t need to complain again. Therefore residents with concerns over the noise of helicopters etc need to make repeated complaints. Complaints can be made by phoning (07) 5453 1501. BeCA mentioned that the helicopter noise problem over the estate though not perfect, was now much improved.
The next Airport Community & Aviation Forum Meeting will be conducted in May 2011.