Recently the Queensland State Government released a Strategy document to support the growth of Airports. Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the new Economic Directions Statement, ‘Queensland Airports 2013-2023’, seeks to build on 40 of the state’s leading airports that have strategic significance for economic growth. You can access the full statement HERE.
Priority actions outlined in the Statement include working with local councils to address blockages to growth and ensuring effective co-existence with local communities and industries.
The document also suggests airports should create Master Plans to set out how Airport Industries can prosper and grow. The Caloundra Aerodrome Master Plan has the creation of a satellite helicopter training facility as one of its major recommendations.
In a second document released by the government titled “Economic Directions Statement, Queensland Airports” page 16 refers in particular to The Sunshine Coast Airport (which includes Maroochydore, Caloundra and Teewah). This document referred to recent achievements by Airport Companies. You can download the full document HERE. (pdf, 807kb)
Under the heading (on page 16) “Training and skills” of this document we read:
“Air training is a significant service segment of the aviation industry and Queensland is at the forefront of the aviation training industry. The Sunshine Coast Airport has the highest number of training providers with eight companies providing training services at the airport. This is followed by the Gold Coast and Archerfield airports with four companies each.
Brisbane, Amberley, Cairns and Sunshine Coast all host type-specific pilot training simulators, as well as companies providing aircraft maintenance training to local and overseas students. The Sunshine Coast Airport has dedicated facilities for helicopters, with a mix of companies providing flight training, maintenance and corporate charter services. These companies also contribute to local tourism offering scenic flights from the airport.
Becker Helicopter Services (BHS) at the Sunshine Coast Airport is the first civilian helicopter training academy in Australia to offer an international helicopter licence and this has been critical in securing multi-million dollar contracts. BHS trains more helicopter pilots per year than the Australian Defence Force and the internationally recognised facility turned over about $20 million in 2012–13.”
The state government is encouraging Airport Industries to expand but is recommending expansion occur with effective co-existence with local communities and industries.
The Bellvista Community Association believes for helicopter training services to prosper on the Sunshine Coast there must be a satellite helicopter training facility created as a matter of the highest priority to ensure effective co-existence with local communities.
BeCA looks forward to the State Government supporting this initiative in line with their own recommendations and to financially back this project. That a sum as low as somewhere between $500,000 and $1,000,000 would effectively fund the project, seems a small price to pay to ensure effective co-existence with local communities and industries.