In January 2014 Becker Helicopters of Maroochydore Airport set out to target Bellvista and its residents in a tactic designed to put pressure on Council so it would bend to the Company’s wishes. All tactics undertaken by Becker helicopters over this period were within CASA guidelines. The company had been seeking a Satellite Helicopter Training Facility for its use.
BeCA also strongly supported the creation of such a facility.
Becker Helicopters then carried out numerous and frequent helicopter circuits in this area over a period lasting for up to five or 6 weeks, designed to stir public opinion and force Sunshine Coast Airport and Council to have a site allocated. As a result Bellvista residents were subjected to repetitive circuits by large helicopters for up to 4 to 5 hours daily during December 2013, January and February 2014.
Use our Blog Archive link to the right and read the blog entries entries from December 2013 to March 2014 to follow the story as it all unfolded. (HERE)
A quote from a BeCA blog post (HERE) covering a large Public Meeting conducted by local MP Mark McArdle in February 2014 appears below:
“A letter from Mike Becker was read by Mark McArdle to all present. Sections of the letter confirmed that Becker Helicopters had legally and deliberately set out to spark debate by impacting upon local communities. The pain and discomfort inflicted upon our community was a deliberate tactic designed to spark public debate so Becker Helicopters could achieve their aim of creating a satellite helicopter training facility.”
A full copy of the letter read to the Public Meeting can be found here: http://bellvista.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Mike-Becker-Letter-To-Forum.pdf
In another quote from a national magazine where Mike Becker’s wife was interviewed and said: “To grow you have to be prepared to bend the red tape”. The full article can be read here: http://bellvista.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Becker-Inflight-pdf.pdf
Over many years BeCA has maintained its pressure on Sunshine Coast Airport Management, especially via “Caloundra Airport Forum Meetings” to ensure the events of January 2014 did not repeat themselves.
The document below appeared via the “Sunshine Coast Daily”. You can access the original article HERE.
In the article Becker Helicopters announce their intention to leave the Sunshine Coast Airport for a new start in South Australia.