Caloundra Airport has been in operation for well over 60 years. It is said the airport was born as a supply station for armed forces stationed at Caloundra during WW11. It has grown to be what it is today and is managed by SCRC with the land it occupies owned by the Queensland State Government. The Caloundra Airport provides direct employment for over 200 people and subsidiary employment for many others via ancillary businesses on the Sunshine Coast.
Caloundra Airport is a major centre for aircraft maintenance. It also houses a helicopter training school (Airways Aviation) and other fixed wing aircraft training facilities. Caloundra Airport is the home of the Sunshine Coast Skydivers, a major tourist attraction along with the wonderful Caloundra Air Museum.
Caloundra is a “Non-Towered” Airport and comes under the wings of CASA. CASA controls pilots’ licences and any pilot who repeatedly goes outside CASA’s guidelines can have their licence revoked. Therefore pilots carefully follow the guidelines set down by CASA. These guidelines are different to the guidelines outlined in the Fly Neighbourly Agreement. The Fly Neighbourly Agreement is a ‘non-enforceable’ agreement. It is a list of advisory conditions under which Caloundra Airport industries have agreed to comply with.
The airport is similar to any public road. It is available for any aircraft to use at any time, day or night. As long as CASA Guidelines are being adherred to, any aircraft is welcome to use the airport. However ONLY aircraft based at Caloundra Aerodrome are bound by the voluntary “Fly Neighbourly Agreement”. There is a minimal charge set by Council payable for aircraft which use the airport for landings and take offs.
Training areas were designated some time ago in areas adjoining the airport. These training areas were designated well before the construction of Pelican Waters and Bellvista and were well away from any residential areas in those days.
The overall plan of training areas for both helicopters and fixed wing aircraft at any airport can be seen in this document from CASA. Please click on the photo for a larger view.
Helicopters have the set of yellow circuits as well as the grey circuits you see in the document below. This document below also shows designated aircraft training areas for Caloundra Airport. BeCA believes there is no compulsion to remain within the grey areas. Click on the photo below for a larger view. These are designated training areas. Aircraft also have access to regular landing and take-off flight paths.
Originally the Bellvista Estate was designed by the developer “Lensworth”. Lensworth’s original planning submission was rejected by the Caloundra Council as the estate would be situated under designated aircraft training areas. Lensworth then took its development proposal to the State Government where the State Government overturned the Caloundra Council’s rejection.
Therein lays the problems some Bellvista and Bells Reach residents experience today and why the airport businesses frequently use the “We were here first” line of argument.
In response to resident concerns, SCRC has developed a policy which endeavours to provide residents with guidelines above and beyond those of CASA for aircraft based at Caloundra Airport. These guidelines (known as the Fly Neighbourly Agreement) are a non-enforceable ‘gentleman’s agreement’ between Caloundra Airport Companies and the SCRC. The enforceable requirements are those set out by CASA.
You can download a pdf of the Fly Neighbourly Agreement from the link at the foot of this page. Note the Fly Neighbourly Agreement is only for training flights for industries based at Caloundra Aerodrome. Other aircraft not conducting training flights can use the aerodrome 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
BeCA is assured by Airways Aviation that their pilots carefully adhere to the Fly Neighbourly Agreement. Airways Aviation tell BeCA that they can continually monitor every one of their aircraft’s position and height. They tell us that any pilot going outside these guidelines is spoken to and reminded of the Fly Neighbourly Agreement.
Aircraft who are visiting Caloundra Airport are NOT bound by the Fly Neighbourly Agreement. As Caloundra Airport has a minimal charge for touch and go landings, it is seen as an attractive airport at which aircraft from other airfields can practise.
If you have a concern regarding the behaviour of any aircraft above Bellvista you are entitled to lodge a complaint. You can do this via the Caloundra Airport on (07) 5453 1501.
Or you can contact the Caloundra Airport Operations Manager.
You could contact Air Services Australia on 1800 802 584 and they will log the complaint. Air Services Australia have advised action will only be taken if there are a number of complaints. BeCA urges residents to contact Air Services Australia whenever they have an aircraft noise issue.
You can read more about how you can lodge a complaint regarding Aircraft Noise to Air Services Australia HERE.
So your complaint can be acted upon, you will need to provide some details of the offending aircraft. You should note its color, the number of wings and engines it has and any registration details you can see. You should note the offending behaviour and if possible a photograph.
Feel free to contact BeCA to pass on any report you have made regarding inappropriate aircraft behaviour over our estate by clicking HERE.
These downloads are provided for resident information.
Making Your Own Email Complaint to Local Authorities:
The following email contacts may be of use when you wish to lodge your personal concerns over aircraft activity above our estate. Complaints are usually ranked by number, the more emails complaining, the better the response. So emails from 50 residents would carry much more weight than a single complaint lodged by BeCA on your behalf.
email@example.com and mark your email, Caloundra Aerodrome Noise Complaint. You may wish to add that you wish this to be recorded as a ‘formal noise complaint’.
firstname.lastname@example.org for our local Councillor
email@example.com for local MP Mark McArdle
firstname.lastname@example.org and mark your email, Attention Chief Training Officer
A decision is close on an alternative area for helicopters from both Caloundra and Maroochydore to practise their repetitive touch n go helicopter training circuits at an area away from local homes. This is a temporary solution and has been a long time coming via a slow, long and frustrating highway.
At the end of February 2015 the vast majority of repetitive circuits by helicopters were removed from above our homes to this alternate site. Regretfully, local helicopter companies were not included in the agreement to use the Interim Helicopter Training Facility.
Not all flights will go, some training flights which require the specifics of an aerodrome will continue to occur at Caloundra Aerodrome.
BeCA will remain vigilant in its pursuit of a long term permanent solution which will need to be granted by the State Government and its relevant ministers.