BeCA has received several emails relating to a flyer received in most letter boxes over the last few days and to an article in this week’s Caloundra Weekly regarding repetitive helicopter circuits above our homes and a new flightpath. There has even been a comment made on the BeCA Facebook page.
Below is BeCA’s current understanding of the position.
The issue only relates to repetitive training circuits by trainee helicopter pilots practising their touch n go’s. Other helicopter flights such as joy flights, aircraft coming in for servicing, test flights etc are not involved with this issue.
There will be no alteration to any helicopter flightpaths for repetitive training flights over or around our homes until the Sunshine Coast Council approves the recent Development Application (DA) for a change of purpose for a parcel of land owned by Stockland near the new Roy’s Rd overpass to permit the site to be used as a temporary Satellite Helicopter Training Facility.
This approval is anticipated before the end of this month. This may or may not occur.
The flight path referred to in the flyer would then be used by ‘local’ helicopters based at Caloundra Aerodrome flying to and from the proposed Satellite Helicopter Training Facility once the Development Application is approved by Council. Until this approval is signed by Council, we will continue to see repetitive circuits by trainee helicopter pilots above our homes.
When the DA is signed off, the less intrusive Caloundra Aerodrome based helicopters will then use the new designated flight path to travel to and from the proposed Satellite Helicopter Training Facility to practise their touch n’ go’s.
The major cause of grief to many local residents are not the Caloundra Aerodrome based training helicopters, but the larger Jet Ranger training aircraft used by Becker Helicopters based in Maroochydore. They use the Caloundra Aerodrome (and other aerodromes around SE Queensland) to practise repetitive touch n go’s. The designated flightpath in the flyer and mentioned in the Caloundra Weekly article will have little if anything to do with Becker Helicopters.
Once Council approves the DA, Becker Helicopters should fly directly from Maroochydore to the Roy’s Rd site for their trainee purposes. We should see no further use of Caloundra Aerodrome by Becker Helicopters and any future circuits over our homes should be restricted to the local Helicopter Pilot Training company based at Caloundra Aerodrome.
To relieve Stockland of any legal responsibilities from the use of their land as a Helicopter Satellite Training Facility, State Government exemption has been sought and granted.
The major focus of your Community Association is to press the State Government for a permanent solution. Stockland will require the land back in two years time as they begin to develop Caloundra South.
The use of any Satellite Helicopter Training Facility will not remove all helicopter training circuits from above homes. There will be occasions when helicopter pilots in training are required to develop skills involving an aerodrome environment. So these repetitive training circuits requiring an aerodrome environment will continue.
Our community needs two things to happen, Council has to sign off on the Development Application and allow the use of the proposed parcel of land as a temporary Satellite Helicopter Training Facility, and the future State Government has to create a permanent Satellite Helicopter Training Facility solution.