Anti airport group accused of scare tactics and fake news

Letters to the editor

[Forum] The latest fiction rant from the Laurie Eyes anti-airport mob (WRC Forum 22/01/20) conjures up a heap of alternate facts and fake news.

It is pointless to pick the fictions apart, as it has been done many times already.

Like a flock of Don Quixotes, they are fighting a Warnervale airport windmill they believe is a dangerous big jet airport giant.

Misguided Laurie Eyes is running around scaring people about this nasty airport which will have big jets roaring around and crashing everywhere.

He and his fellow misguided supporters are still fighting a battle that never was.

Various Councils and Councillors have produced lots of hot-air talk and pie-in-the-sky ideas, many bits of paper with proposals for a “great big airport”, but nothing concrete, and there never will be.

The Warnervale site is simply unsuitable for large Regular Passenger Transport (RPT) jet operations.

It is far too small, and the cost prohibitive. There never will be a RPT jet airport at Warnervale!

Even so, the anti-airport mob hang their argument on those long-abandoned and totally discredited “proposals” as if they were, and are, gospel.

“We’ll all be doomed”, says Laurie Eyes.

The Warnervale Airport Restrictions Act (WAR Act), produced in 1996 and currently under review, was a product of the chicken little fear that a massive passenger jet airport would be built right in their backyard.

They still believe it.

Logically, practically, and intelligently, a big 737 jet airport on the Warnervale site is neither necessary, nor technically feasible.

By using scare tactics, fake news, bloated and farcical financial statistics, the chicken littles are getting a willing ear from people who know little or nothing about aviation.

In this they seem to have had a degree of success with voters, given the makeup of the current crop of Councilors and some of the commentators out there.

Now let’s get down to facts.

The proposed development at Warnervale Airport, as laid out in the Landrum and Brown report of 2017, which Mr Eyes quotes very selectively, does not, repeat not, propose an airport for large passenger jets like Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 operations.

The report is titled “Central Coast Aviation Hub Concept Plan” and sets out a seven-stage development of hangars, offices, workshops, airport facilities, etc, leading in the sixth and seventh stages to an extension of the current 1180m airstrip to 1800m, and 30m wide, an airstrip suitable for use by aircraft that may be involved in the repair, maintenance, modification or manufacture activities on the site.

This would make Warnervale a Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Code 3 airport, runway 1200m to 1800m and width of 30m.

Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 require a Code 4 airfield of minimum 2000m and runway width of 45m.

The largest passenger aircraft that could possibly operate from the 1800m Code 3 airport at Warnervale would be like the 36 seat SAAB 340 as operated by REX Airlines.

The SAAB is a turbo-propellor commuter, not a fan-jet like the Boeing 737 and Airbus, thus much less noise.

But the primary role of the proposed Warnervale development is an Aviation Industrial site.

Any move in the future to provide SAAB type commuter services would depend on public demand, and this might be decades away.

At the time the Report was written, Council had received 137 enquiries from which 35 Memoranda of Understanding (MOU’s) by aviation-related businesses had been requested, to set up on the airport as the development progressed.

Seventeen had signed these MOU’s including: 8 tourism, 4 private users, 3 maintenance and repairs, one government contractor and one fuel supply.
It is most likely that, as the development progressed, more businesses would come on board.

But the greenish ideologically driven majority Councillors killed those prospects dead when, at the very first Council meeting, they voted the airport development down.

This is a valuable project, and the financial outlay for the entire project, made up of Council funds, government grants and private input, would be one of the best investments the Council could make for the jobs it would create, the commerce it would generate, and the social benefit flowing from it.

It just needs a new, forward looking Council, to get on board, and for the anti-airport mob to realise that they have been totally called out.
Game over for The Resistance Group of Central Coast Airport, nobody takes you seriously any more.

Email, Feb 3
Geoff Robertson, The Entrance

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