BeCA has received two calls from the local media regarding its views on the Caloundra Aerodrome Draft Masterplan. Sunshine Coast Airport CEO Peter Pallot will be speaking on the draft masterplan at our next Public Meeting on November 5th, the old Land Sales Office building at 6:45pm. All Bellvista and Bells Reach residents are invited to attend.
Despite speaking with one reporter on a range of points regarding the masterplan, two smaller points were picked up and reported on. It felt like the reporter had the story already written and was looking only for points to support her story.
The second request was for an interview on John Stoke’s local ABC program which is due to go to air this afternoon.
The writers of the draft Masterplan have used a range of strategies to make predictions on the number of flights in 30 year’s time. The following paragraph is quoted from the Masterplan document:
The larger provider of flying training services at Caloundra has advised that it foresees a considerable growth in its activities at Caloundra. While no specific data about its projected level of activity is available for inclusion in this forecast, this study assumes that the proportion of rotary wing aircraft movements may increase from the present estimated 26% to 50% of the total movements. The total number of circuits due to this increased training activity has been increased to 80% of the total movements.
There is possibly some doubt in the projections based on such a broad based comment as this one. The paragraph concludes with BeCA’s proposal.
Consideration of the development of a satellite training area to reduce the impact of helicopter circuit training activity may be an opportunity in the future.
It would be expected that there would be a major reduction in the number of helicopter movements in and out of Caloundra Airport if the satellite training facility was to be built.
BeCA understands that some contact has been made with relevant businesses at Caloundra Airport on the feasibility of such a facility and if local helicopter training school companies would be prepared to use it.
Yesterday BeCA met with a representative of Chopperline to discuss how local residents could be kept informed on possible heavy activity days of helicopter training flights over our estate. It is anticipated that each Monday BeCA will receive information on a flying schedule for the upcoming week. BeCA would make this information known to residents via this website. The number of students attending the Helicopter Training School during 2012 has fallen dramatically resulting in fewer training flights over the estate. This trend was expected to continue for the remainder of 2012.
Chopperline outlined its training circuits over the estate and how it raises minimum height levels well above those recommended. BeCA came away from the meeting feeling that we had created excellent communication channels between ourselves and the Helicopter Training School. It was explained that the number flights over the estate were determined by the number of students in training, where those students were up to in their training and the prevailing wind conditions. With numbers of students attending the Helicopter Training School dwindling to around 30% of last year’s total, there has been a resultant drop in the number of helicopter flights over our estate.