After a prolonged period of extremely good aircraft behaviour there has been a marked increase in helicopters and aeroplanes doing their touch n go circuits in the last week or so. In some cases these aircraft fly in lower over houses than what was usually expected encouraging some people to believe a crash or serious accident is imminent.
In all cases BeCA pointed people to the Airport Noise Complaints page on this website (HERE) and requested we be kept up to date with any information they may receive. BeCA contacted Airways Aviation at Caloundra Aerodrome and passed on that we had received several complaints and possibly their helicopters may be involved. They immediately took steps to closely monitor their training procedures.
However one especially large white helicopter appears to have been Maroochydore based.
The current agreement is that helicopters should perform up to 80% of their touch n go’s at the Interim Helicopter Training Facility situated away from residential areas on the Bruce Highway and the remaining specialized 20% at aerodromes for specialized airport based touch n go exercises.
One resident sent a complaint off to “Air Services Australia” and received a detailed report on the period in question. The picture above shows the flight paths of helicopters and other aircraft over a specified 3 day period. It is an amazing illustration! Click on the illustration for a larger view.
The outcome of the complaint from Air Services Australia was that as the residence was so close to an airport, this activity was within reason.
There was an agreement between Sunshine Coast Airport and Becker helicopters to use an “Interim Helicopter Training Facility” situated out on the Bruce Highway on land supplied by Stockland. This is a temporary 2 year agreement negotiated between the State Government, Council and Becker Helicopters. For a reason unknown to BeCA, local helicopter training schools situated at Caloundra Aerodrome were not included in the temporary agreement, despite that being recommended by our Councillor and local MP.
The interim agreement ceases existence at the end of December this year.
At the mid year meeting of the Caloundra Aerodrome Community and Aviation Forum, BeCA sought an update on how discussions were going between Airport Management and the State Government on the permanent solution. It was indicated to BeCA that everything was going according to plan, an alternative site had been found and was in partial use, and residents of Bellvista and Bells Reach should not be concerned. It was also decided a full explanation and update of the Permanent Helicopter Training Facility negotiations would be made available at the October Forum Meeting.
Subsequently the October Forum Meeting was cancelled. BeCA immediately voiced its disapproval at the cancellation as the update on a permanent solution was vital information for this community. BeCA was promised a written update on negotiations as a matter of urgency.
The following advice was received today via email:
Sunshine Coast Council continues to work with the State Government to find suitable Helicopter satellite training facilities. The current arrangements with use of the Bruce Highway satellite facility is due to expire in December 2016. Investigations are currently being undertaken to determine if an extension to the current arrangement is possible as an interim measure whilst a more permanent solution is developed.
BeCA will continue to press for a Permanent Helicopter Training Facility via our local MP, our Councillor and any other source available.
BeCA will keep the local community informed.