The owners of Essendon Airport have found themselves back in the media, seeking to narrow it’s runway’s to accommodate new non-aviation developments, with the Australian Federation of Air Pilots slamming the proposal as unsafe.
“The proposal… will reduce the airport’s viability as an aviation precinct and more importantly will increase the risk to aircraft operators, passengers and the general public…. in our opinion approval processes have been abused or ignored to promote non-aviation property uses at the expense of safety for aviation operations,” Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP).
Bearing a remarkable similarity to the Essendon accident, on the 3rd July 2019 a fully loaded King Air experienced difficulty on take-off from Dallas in the US, subsequently impacting buildings to the immediate left of the runway.
Both unfortunate and tragic accidents serve to highlight the glaring risk of placing structures alongside runways, particularly when considering high-density non-aviation retail shopping precincts.
“It appears that the tragic accident in 2017 in which a King Air crashed into an airport DFO building resulting in fatality, has had absolutely no impact on the thinking of Essendon Airport’s owners and management,” AOPA Australia Executive Director Benjamin Morgan.
“Yet again, we are seeing non-aviation property development interests and profits placed ahead of aviation safety. The latest proposal clearly reduces aviation safety and should be met with outright rejection from both the state and federal government, ” he said.