Aircraft owners, pilots and businesses today met with representatives of Gympie Regional Council and their airport consultants to debate a proposal to shorten the local airport runway.
The meeting was attended by over 40 aviators, along with AOPA Australia Director Shawn Kelly and Executive Director Benjamin Morgan.
The meeting revealed significant deficiencies in the consultants recommendations to council;
Today’s Meeting was both important and productive, revealing that council’s consultants were acting on incomplete information, which lead to an inappropriate runway shortening recommendation.
AOPA Australia felt it was important to attend today’s meeting, not only to support local aviators but also in support of the national general aviation community who rely on access to airports. It is imperative that proposals seeking restrict airports without a valid safety case be scrutinised and opposed where necessary.
AOPA Australia brought forward a recommendation to council, seeking to provide a workable pathway to resolution, which was adopted by council at the meeting;
The resolution adopted by council, now places an immediate hold on the Gympie Airport runway shortening and sets in motion the following;
i/ The establishment of an Airport Advisory Committee (AAC) comprising of representatives of council, the local aviation community and AOPA Australia;
ii/ For the AAC to review the current proposal, through a formal consultative process;
iii/ For the AAC to provide council with a formal recommendation for resolution.
Today’s Meeting was a success for both the council and local aviators, whom have now agreed to work together in resolving the runway matter.
AOPA Australia Director Shawn Kelly has agreed to provide ongoing support for the formation of the AAC and will assist during the review.