NIMBYs Damage Katoomba Airfield Future

NIMBYs Damage Katoomba Airfield Future

NIMBYs Damage Katoomba Airfield Future

April 7, 2020 By Brian Bigg
The NIMBYS (Not in my back yard) in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, have put the future of another Australian airfield in jeopardy. AOPA SPORT Australia Digital Editor BRIAN BIGG reports.
After a strong local campaign against the proposal, the NSW government has elected not to lease Katoomba airport. Katoomba had been operated by FlyBlue for two years under a licence...

After a strong local campaign against the proposal, the NSW government has elected not to lease Katoomba airport.

Katoomba had been operated by FlyBlue for two years under a licence arrangement.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment earlier this year informed FlyBlue that no lease would be offered and that FlyBlue’s licence to operate the airfield was to be terminated and replaced with a licence which banned prohibited helicopter flights.

During the community consultation process, more than 1,500 submissions were received, 85 percent of which opposed the application.

According to the department the opposition focused on noise pollution, preserving the appeal of the Blue Mountains as a peaceful environment, potential pollution of water supplies, and protecting Aboriginal heritage interests.

According to FlyBlue management, the company has since gathered more than 1,000 signatures for its Save Katoomba Airfield petition.

“Since 1968 this airfield has been operating for the express purpose of general aviation, tourism and emergency services. In 2020, how much more important is this airfield for a community severely impacted by the recent bushfires and now COVID-19 dealing unprecedented setbacks to local and national tourism.

“To better understand how we reached this point, many of you have read our published story: https://www.flyblue.com.au/our-story/ and are now asking questions about the Department’s community consultation process and where the execution was flawed.

“During this time of unprecedented change in our world, if you have time on your hands and an interest in helping us convince the NSW Government and the Hon. Minister Stokes to review their decision to close Katoomba Airfield, please take action and write to the Minister requesting him to instruct an independent external review of the community consultation strategy process (CES).”

  1. Email or call Scott Mullen, A/Director, Greater Sydney & Commercial on 0467 743 490  or  mullen@crownland.nsw.gov.au
  2. Email or call the Hon. Minister Stokes at:
    Pittwater@parliament.nsw.gov.auor (02) 9999 3599 and urge him to instruct an independent review of the decision.
  3. For more information, Floyd or Derek Larsen from FlyBlue Management 0456 FLY BLU (0456 359 258).
Brian Bigg

Brian Bigg is one of Australia’s most experienced aviation journalists. He was the founding editor of Australian Pilot magazine for AOPA, the premier communication medium for general aviation in Australia. Several years later, he became the publisher and founding editor of Sport Pilot magazine, the largest circulation aviation magazine in Australia, with a monthly readership of 14,000. Brian trained in a Piper Tomahawk and flew Archers and Trinidads. Then he shifted to ultralights. He owns and flies an Atec Zephyr which is based at Camden in NSW. Brian remains one of the most passionate advocates for recreational flying in Australia.

Topic: Airports

scroll to more content