[Forum] I write in reference to the article ‘Public forum to be held on Central Coast Airport’ (Chronicle, January 22).
It may come as a surprise to Adam Crouch (Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast) that Warnervale Airport is not, in fact, an airport at all, but an Aeroplane Landing Area (ALA) with the same status as an agricultural grass airstrip.
Central Coast Council is responsible for running Warnervale ALA in accordance with CASA ALA Guidelines, which they have failed to do.
The Central Coast Aero Club and its Warnervale ALA are under no threat whatsoever.
A majority of Councillors have voted to retain the existing runway and support the Aero Club.
The Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Act 1996 (Act) excludes emergency services from any of the restrictions in the Act, therefore, Mr Crouch’s claims suggesting that emergency service use is somehow under threat is misleading in the extreme.
The Act review currently underway is a device to eliminate or repeal the Act and its basic community protections.
The Act is nothing to be afraid of, it simply ensures that any proposal to expand operations is referred to an independent person, that independent noise studies are carried out and that all residents within 7.5km of the runway are invited to make submissions on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal.
Mr Crouch and his airport proponents cannot abide the requirements for assessment independent of Council, because they know their airport proposals would not survive any independent process.
The airport proponents have already tried to repeal the Act and failed, with then Planning Minister Roberts deciding to keep the Act intact in 2017 after a 16-month independent review.
Deloitte Access Economics, Council’s consultant, has suggested that the Warnervale airport would only provide 109 jobs as a $274M 1200m airport and 116 jobs as a $396M 1800m airport, and then only if 300,000 passengers per year used it.
That is every domestic passenger on the Central Coast flying from Warnervale and not Newcastle, Sydney or Badgerys Creek.
At best, 116 jobs on industrial zoned land that could provide 1200 direct industrial jobs.
No wonder Mr Crouch does not want the independent assessment of his airport proposal.
Make a submission to Planning NSW to keep the Act intact.
Email, Feb 3
Laurie Eyes, President
Central Coast Airport Resistance Group