Over 70 residents attended a fiery first BeCA Public Meeting last night. This is the largest group, possibly ever, to attend a BeCA Public Meeting and indicated the anger level of residents regarding the recent huge increase in noise from repetitive helicopter flights.
Click on the photo for a larger view.
Sunshine Coast General Manager Peter Pallot was in attendance and did his best to placate an angry group of residents. At times local Councillor Rick Baberowski was also able to provide further information on the situation.
Some major outcomes from the discussion were:
A possible alternative Satellite Helicopter Training Facility may be at least 6 months away. Discussions continue with stakeholders on a week by week basis. It appears nothing concrete is on the table just yet but numerous options are being explored.
At this stage there is nothing which can done to prevent so called rogue operators from using Caloundra Aerodrome. As soon as one goes, another would be free to take its place. Airport Management has no say over who can and who cannot use Caloundra Aerodrome. So if one noisy operator departs, another is free to take its place. The land on which the aerodrome sits is governed by a Federal Government deed and this deed indicates the aerodrome is available to all.
This was not the case when Noosa Council was able to close Teewah Airport to commercial helicopter operators.
Anyone can land and take off from Caloundra Aerodrome. At this stage there is no landing fee applicable to any aerodrome user.
There is no one at Caloundra Aerodrome monitoring who lands where and when. This is the norm for aerodromes such as Caloundra.
Civilian safety is major concern for some residents. Any cowboy behaviour of pilots is not governed by SC Airport Management nor is it their role to do so. Air Services Australia and CASA are the bodies responsible for pilot behaviour. To report issues of aircraft safety phone 131757.
For many residents the whole episode is a public relations disaster for Caloundra Aerodrome as resentment builds among Bellvista, Bells Reach, Golden Beach and Pelican Waters residents. However BeCA has been assured plenty is happening in the background to overcome this problem.
There is enormous concern that any operator can treat a community with disdain and contempt, with no care for the health of residents nor any impact on their lifestyle. That an operator can deliberately set out to create an impact on a community to raise debate and seek a solution to his own commercial needs is absolutely appalling. That this behaviour cannot be controlled defies belief!
It seems that the solution to our problems lodges firmly in the lap of our State Government and its representatives. They are the law makers, it is they who decided not to relocate Caloundra Aerodrome and it is they who provide the best solution to provide a space for a Satellite Helicopter Training Facility.
Residents should continue to lodge their concerns with our local state government representative, MP Mark McArdle, firstname.lastname@example.org or call his office on (07) 5491 2780.
It was moved that Sunshine Coast Council take immediate steps to implement a policy whereby repetitive circuits by helicopters at Caloundra aerodrome and its environs is restricted to current Caloundra Aerodrome based operators effective immediately. The motion was carried unanimously despite the knowledge that currently there is no legal standing to implement such a policy.
This could only occur if there was a change made to the ‘Deed’ arrangements for Caloundra Aerodrome. This would require Federal Government action.
Rick Baberowski announced again that the movement of the old Land Sales office from Stockland ownership to Council Management had been signed off. A major refurbishment is to take place prior to this occurring later in 2014. This has been a long term discussion spreading over many years. The refurbished centre will be a “Meeting Place”.
BeCA desperately needs a volunteer newsletter deliverer for its newsletter. The area involved includes Huntley Place, Toolona Place, Springbrook St etc and would involved delivering around 120 newsletters. Contact our secretary HERE if you can help or via the BeCA mobile phone on 0498266059