The major discussion point for the May Caloundra Aerodrome Forum Meeting revolved around work already underway or recently completed to improve the airport’s operation.
Airport Management is continuing to monitor changes that it is making to training flight paths. Flight Paths have been extended to ensure aircraft attempt turns while well out to sea as well as extending the pilot training flight path itself. An extension is required as now there are more aircraft on the circuit as well as other aircraft waiting to take off.
The closure of runways at Sunshine Coast Airport is forcing more aircraft to be based at Caloundra. There has also been an increase in traffic from other airports (e.g. Archerfield and Caboolture) descending upon Caloundra to undertake pilot training.
Consultants have been employed to investigate recent Flight Path changes and to advise on any further recommendations. This stage of the work is proving to be time consuming and more involved than previously believed.
The take over of land to permit an extension of the Caloundra Air Museum is currently in the hands of the State Government. The parcel of land under consideration is aboriginal tribal land making the negotiation process of handing it over for the expansion of the museum complicated and time consuming.
Aircraft Parking is becoming an issue for Caloundra Aerodrome with aircraft moving from Sunshine Coast Airport to be based at Caloundra. Parking on grass areas would cause aircraft to become bogged while the use of gravel would create an area where stones could be blown around by propeller action. Currently aircraft parking at Caloundra is a at a premium.
There has been an increase in noise complaints with around 95% of complaints coming from areas to the south of Caloundra. This may have been exacerbated by the extension of flight paths and the prolonged spell of south easterly winds recently experienced.
An extended period of wind from the one direction means aircraft continually take off in the one direction. When there is wind direction variation, aircraft are required to use different runways and take off directions. This variation causes any resulting noise to be diversified over a wider area. Complaints have centred on a continuing level of noise in one area over a period of time rather than the noise created by an individual aircraft.
Council is working on an information sheet for residents containing information on the Fly Neighbourly policy, aircraft flight paths and an explanation on Caloundra Aerodrome operations as well as answers to many questions on aircraft operations. The sheet would also advise what avenues are available for residents to make complaints and to seek further information.
The meeting requested that there be more information made available on noise complaint figures at future meetings.