View Full Version : End of an Era! Thin Edge of the Wedge?

27th Oct 2010, 15:19
End of an Era ! Thin Edge of the Wedge ?

This morning another Club member and myself sat in on the Council Meeting in the Town Hall, and heard the Councillors approve the introduction of Landing Charges for aircraft at the two local aerodromes. They become effective from next Monday.

Fee Structure for aircraft up to 2,000kg MTOW Fee (inc. GST)

Private/Recreational Users
All landings(including Touch & Go) where aircraft is used for strictly private/recreational purposes and non commercial purposes * Free
(* strictly private purposes is defined as where ownership is determined to vest in an individual and the aircraft is utilized for recreational and non-commercial purposes. Where ownership is identified as held by a corporate entity (company, superannuation fund, trust, etc) OR the aircraft is known to FCRC to be engaged in commercial activities, this exemption will not apply. Commercial activities include flight training schools including for training recreational pilots.)

Commercial Users
Casual landing per landing where private exemption is not applicable $9.50
Casual Touch & Go Ė per Touch & Go where private exemption is not applicable $4.75

Resident Commercial Aircraft Annual Landing Fee Concessions *
(* Resident Aircraft options available on request to lessees and sub-lessees only)
Annual landing fee Ė per 1,000kg or part thereof OR $280.00
A landing fee per landing (based on previous financial years total landings) $7.00
whichever is the greater
Touch & Go Ė per Touch & Go $3.50

Fee Structure for aircraft with 2,000kg or greater MTOW

Casual landing per 1,000kg or Part thereof Ė per landing $13.00
Touch & Go Ė per Touch & Go $6.50

Fee Structure Ė other Commercial Operations

All other commercial arrangements By Negotiation

All other Fees remain as per the adopted Schedule of Regulatory & Non-Regulatory Charges 2010/2011

Forty years before I became active at this aerodrome, - when it was mooted in 1927, and opened in 1930, visionary people foresaw a need and helped provided access here for aircraft at minimum cost to users. In Ď69/70, when learning as a Commercial and Instructor, then teaching part-time on weekends, we didnít pay for access Ė but paid tribute to those same pioneers, legendary names now Ė Charles Kingsford-Smith, Tommy Pethybridge, Bert Hinkler, Jack Treacy, Ron Adair, along with locals Charlie Hillman, Stead Lowe, Sam Hecker, for their enthusiasm that got provision of the facilities we enjoyed.

Today is a watershed. From now on Council wants the money. In this new era of Fees and Taxes on everyone and everything that moves (and for services that arenít provided) from all Governments, - the only small concession (to be reviewed in a year if the private/recreational users donít work hard voluntarily to generate local awareness) is the only concession for the private/ recreational enthusiasts. But a small win is a win.
The flying schools and commercial users will just pass the increased cost of doing business here onto their students, and clients, - as they do with the GST Ė so it is the end-user who will have to pay. Itís a brainwashed, politically correct, generational thing Ė one more tax ? Ė who cares ! Ė pass it on. Canít afford it ? Take out a loan.

Wonder what the generation in 40 years time will think. But the technology, pressures and rationale will be different again.

Am just glad I have had my 40 years.

27th Oct 2010, 15:30
G'Day 'Frigatebird',
I have full empathy with you and your sentiments.

To my mind, the 'rot' started a loong time ago with the then Fed Govt 'selling' off the PUBLIC OWNED airports around the country under the guise of their 'Local Ownership' plan....What was the acronym again..??

So, various Councils, Local bodies and greedy industrial / finance groups got together and 'tendered' their prices.....and the rest is history.

Closed runways became residential estates, 'safe' surrounding areas became industrial estates, and the only sound to be heard after landing was....

But you're absolutely right - you are indeed 'lucky' to have had your 40 years.

For many of us, it all happened a looong time ago.....:{:{

Sorry to say this....but 'Welcome to the club'......:mad:

27th Oct 2010, 21:44
THIS fellow was a Hero, Pioneer, Determined and Successful, 95, 80 and 40 years ago..


Charles Hillman, Observer 1915, Pilot 1916 Came to Australia in 1922, and then to Maryborough and established a Motor business. Owned first local aeroplane, a DH 60G Gypsy 1 engine VH-UJM from 1929 til about 1936

Apprentice Fitter and Machinist with Bellis and Morcom in England in 1912. They were one of the biggest in building marine engines and compressors at the time in the world. After serving three years as an apprentice, broke the apprenticeship and enlisted in the Army. Only in a week then volunteered as someone who wanted to fly. When he advised a Major Bush about the apprenticeship he was sent down to Cricklewood, just outside London, had a test, and passed out a Second Class Engineer on Gnome, Monosopape and Beardmore engines. Volunteered again to fly, and was sent to Hastings and qualified as Observer, August 1915, went on active service with 57 Squadron in France, flying and observing for all the Indian Batterys. Transferred to Royal Naval Air Service and sent back to Chatham for training in 1916 then sent to 119 Squadron in South-Eastern Command. South-Eastern Command had 118, 119, 120, 121, 122 Squadrons at Dunkirk. Qualified as a Pilot with this squadron in 1916. His Squadron Leader was Gerry Livstock. Came to Australia in 1922 and subsequently entered into business in Maryborough Qld. in a Motor business (Hillman and Loft). In 1926 renewed flying activities and enrolled with the Qld Aero Club which was operated by Qantas. Instructions by Lester Brain and subsequently obtained licence No. 352 at the hands of C.W.A.Scott. With Capt Jack Treacy, Charles Hillman was one of the pilots who escorted Sir Charles Kingsford Smith into Eagle Farm on his flight from the U.S.A. to Eagle Farm June 9th. 1928. Charles Hillman eventually established a business in Bundaberg, then, moved to a business (Hillman Motors P.L.)in Rockhampton. This business in Rockhampton became the biggest engine reconditioning business outside of Brisbane, engageing in General Engineering and Heavy Industry requirements for Moura Mines. He acquired large property interests in Rockhampton and Grazing interests in and around Rockhampton. He passed away on Dec.1st. 1978. He was a member of the Early Birds Q'land Division at the time of his death.

27th Oct 2010, 23:28
Errr! What Council? What aerodromes??

Don't get me started with this rot.... the councils only see $$ but don't realise what it costs when they make such charges!:ugh::ugh:

28th Oct 2010, 00:16
Maryborough (and Hervey Bay).. Fraser Coast Regional Council

One serial complainer to the Chronicle, Letters to the Editor section, about occasional light aircraft night flights, described the pilots as 'air hoons' and 'sky cowboys', and wanted prohibitively expensive charges imposed, and air corridors promulgated. The airport has been here since 1930, but doesn't get much use now, and is without even a regular airline service. She is already on a winner - talk about selfish.

28th Oct 2010, 00:22
Thats the selfish problem with some people. They buy a house near an airport which is a bit cheaper because it is near an airport and then they complain about the airport.

28th Oct 2010, 01:40
I really feel sorry for you guys, I've researched this (by some simple googling) and think the attitude of your council and their non transparent closed door approach to what seems to be an outstanding opportunity to boost tourism, community service and access sucks. What ever happened to your 2030 Strategic Aviation Plan they go on about....

Now as you know, I'm not one to "name names," (so to speak) but on reading some of the (publicly published) responses to a couple of newspaper articles from the Frasercoast Chronicle I came upon the following gem which I think out of fairness to our friends from the Fraser Coast is worthy of repeat (just so we all get an idea of the attitude of at least one aviation buff, who will probably never travel on Commercial Flights or have the need to receive any airmail, or RFDS service etc etc):

"If aviators think the landing fees are too low and not worth the candle to collect, I would suggest these fees be increased. Ratepayers should not have to subsidise private aviators.
Re tourism. Residents and tourists don't want to be assaulted by the racket from dozens of small planes buzzing around all day long. Noise like that will not attract tourists who want to spend a quiet few days or more at Hervey Bay.
The health and quality of life of residents should be the first priority. Indulging the selfish pleasure of a few private aviators or money making enterprises at the expense of thousands of residents who actually pay for this airport is not on.
I know people who have already left Hervey Bay, fed up with the racket from low flying planes not using the correct flight paths, and others just circling around and flying up and down the esplanade.

I'm sure that the author of this document is totally without sin (not!).

Some people just don't get [email protected]<hidden>!!!

Good luck guys

28th Oct 2010, 02:11
I can sympathise with airport operators to an extent trying to recover some of their costs.
Unfortnunately slashing of runway strips, lighting maintenance and repairs, annual technical inspections, boundary fences, general infrastructure etc etc etc etc all have to be paid for.

Art Smass
28th Oct 2010, 02:20
You're lucky they're only introducing landing fees. Many local councils these days seem to be happier to flog off local airstrips and sell the land to developers.:ugh:


28th Oct 2010, 03:43

Cessnock City Council , Cessnock Airport and the organizer of the "Auto Fest" which was originally planned for the 30th to 31st October have decided to move this event to the weekend of the 13th & 14th November, without consultation with *** and many other airport users.

"Auto Fest" will take place on Cessnock airport and utilises both taxiways and runway. The result will either bring aircraft movement to a standstill for the weekend or close the airport to aircraft activity in its entirety.

http://www.cessnock.nsw.gov.au/resources/file/Minutes/2010/OC_04082010_MIN.pdf From page 11 refers.

Brakes on Cessnock Autofest - Local News - News - General - Newcastle Herald (http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/brakes-on-cessnock-autofest/1900924.aspx)

Police oppose Cessnock car show - Local News - News - General - Newcastle Herald (http://www.theherald.com.au/news/local/news/general/police-oppose-cessnock-car-show/1904818.aspx)

Hunter Revfest (http://revfest.com/index.html)

At late notice this event has been changed to a date not in the DA and as a result will now close the AIRPORT down completely for the weekend to allow CARS to make use of the taxiways and runway for Burnouts and Powerskids The event organisers are trying to get an approval for competition events; drag racing at the event It will be interesting to see how much damage is done by the rubber laid down from the burnouts etc and hopefully no blow outs will occur causing even more damage. Good luck to the council recovering any repair costs. How they can make a runway safe to allow drag racing will also be interesting.

The new date now conflicts with an aviation event that has been planned and advertised for months with people coming from around Australia and overseas. It has had to be cancelled as the airfield may be closed to aircraft operations.

I'm not associated with any aviation business at Cessnock, but I would be mightily annoyed that an event like this could close down an airfield that I rely on for my income on a normal basis, let alone for a special event. Hopefully there won't be any damage to aircraft parked at the field. There will be a lot of people wandering around airside without security passes, but I guess it is a drag strip for the 2 days so it doesn't matter.

I don't have anything against a car event like this but it should be held at a venue that is designed for it to be conducted in a safe manner for the participants and the public. If Cessnock Council want this kind of event they should build/sponsor a drag strip.

28th Oct 2010, 05:41
Hey Alistair,

I saw the other night on TV that the Australian version of Top Gear are using Camden airstrip to rip around the taxiways and part of 24/06....How did they get approval to do that? and where were their ASIC cards? Did they get some sort of (financially supported) flash exemption...Is there a CASA reg that covers this?....What the heck is going on???? and what's next??? 4WD shows at the old Schofields airstrip? Time for a drink I think.


Worrals in the wilds
28th Oct 2010, 06:12
There is provision in the Act for designating a Special Event Zone airside, ie where ASIC and many usual airside area rules etc do not apply. It has to be fenced off and guarded and effectively ceases to be part of the airside area. It's usually used for media events and things like airline launch parties.
IIRC there can be no aircraft movements or screened pax in the area while it's an SEZ.
Enjoy your drink! :)

Good luck to all of you who have to battle NIMBYs who bought a house near an airport and whinge about airport noise. I live near an airport and a port and I rather like the noise from both. If I didn't, I'd MOVE.

28th Oct 2010, 06:51
apparently one of the serial complainers who helped in the shutdown of Hoxton park, has now moved to, you guessed it, right next to Wollongong airport, and is now continuing on her merry way complaining about aircraft movements and submitting paperwork against the building of new hangarage at YWOL.. ever wondered why circuits are only permitted on 34/16? 1 person complained, repeatedly...

28th Oct 2010, 09:03
saw the other night on TV that the Australian version of Top Gear are using Camden airstrip to rip around the taxiways and part of 24/06....How did they get approval to do that? and where were their ASIC cards?
The trigger for the requirement for ASICs is that the airport must be designated as being a "Security Controlled Airport". Camden has no RPT therefore no ASIC requirement.

Old Fella
28th Oct 2010, 09:05
YPJT The cost of maintaining an airfield is something close to my heart, or is that my wallet? For more than ten years now a small group of us (less than six) have managed and maintained the Heritage listed Old Bar Airstrip near Taree, NSW. This airfield has been in existence since the late 1920's and our local Council tried on more than one occasion to close it and convert the area into sporting fields. It was arbitrarily closed in 1994 and it took six years to get it reopened. Council does not contribute to the maintenance at all, not even budgeted for. We, the Council appointed Management Committee, maintain the airstrip totally at our own cost except for a very small number of donations by some visiting users. We also produced, at our cost, a twenty page book entitled "Old Bar Airstrip - History in Brief". It is a good read and at $10 per copy Plus postage it is available through me. To anyone interested, PM me if you care to get a copy and learn how we won the struggle to preserve a bit of Australian Aviation history. No landing fees are charged. A great grass airstrip by the blue Pacific Ocean. Come visit and enjoy the experience. ERSA YOBR/ALA.

28th Oct 2010, 09:23
G'day Old Fella,
Thanks for the invite mate and I'd surely love to drop into Old Bar at some stage. I guess a lot of us have been around long enough to remember the good old days when airports were considered essential public infrastructure. There are still a few good ALAs and certified aerodromes around WA that don't charge but that number is dwindling because of increasing and ongoing costs.

28th Oct 2010, 11:05
Thanks Worrals :ok:...I didn't know that..I guess I haven't read that deeply into the act after all :8 Mind you though I did enjoy the beer...

Hey Ultralights.....This person obviously moves to areas near uncontrolled airports because that's the only sky where she doesn't need clearance for her broomstick...the good news though is that Albion Park is just a short drive from Shellharbour hospital where hopefully she'll be able to receive quality psychiatric assistance and medication to help her get over her afflictions and case of adverseaircraftmediaosis..

I know, what if we all chip in and help relocate her and her sister from the Fraser Coast to one of the old fibro houseo's at Medowie (if they're still there), just north of YWLM for some real quality aircraft noise, the kind of which we all pay to go and listen to every couple of years over at Avalon...

Now I'm thinkin'


Worrals in the wilds
28th Oct 2010, 11:11
I guess a lot of us have been around long enough to remember the good old days when airports were considered essential public infrastructure...

Unfortunately even essential public infrastructure isn't considered essential public infrastructure anymore. How's your State health system looking? Ours is reliant on smelling salts, rosary beads and BYO mattress.

I guess I haven't read that deeply into the act after all http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/nerd.gif

No worries and I'm not surprised, it's not the sort of thing anyone does for fun. :}

29th Oct 2010, 04:04
To the guys (and gals) who did the legwork.. Take A Bow..

Fraser Coast Chronicle 29-10-10


6th Nov 2010, 22:04
Part of an e-mail that was forwarded to me. Am sure the author wouldn't mind..

As quite a few people now know, Iíve lost my patience and desire to operate here and will follow the many predecessors who are fed up and depart this wonderful location on Fraser Coast.
1.Iím one of the few with a magnetic swipe card, as one could tell by the amount of swipes my card gets, it might be more practical for the supposed responsible people of this airport to control access to the facility by purchasing useful access devices that would actually let people in and out of the airport. I think this would go something along the lines of keypads that work and are repaired when broken and possibly even answer a phone call when people may occasionally attempt to use our facilities.
2.With that being said, I think the most obvious one is above!
3.RAA has ratified the location for next yearís Northern Fly-In and selected Monto as the appropriate location. The board is open to alternate locations and I would suggest partitioning the RAAus board to work on the 2012 northern fly-in to move to Maryborough? Some T Hangars would be useful? Maybe complete a taxiway for small aircraft down to RWY29?
Iíve made it my personal ambition before leaving the area to discover the purpose of the Blue Box next to the fence at the Aero club in Hervey Bay. Iíve spent hours of my time standing under it with my eyes closed pushing buttons, injecting cards but it seems the Tardis always takes me to the same place, seems to be right in front of aircraft with people asking me to swipe them in! Iíve concentrated on numerous occasions and put a lot of mental energy in but certainly doesnít seem to make changes to a preposterous lease system this council believes people will ignorantly sign. My daughter has tried to order a Big MAC and it refuses to feed her.... so Iím a little puzzled. Iíve tried to put my order in for a brand new Mooney, Piper Malibu, F1 Rocket and it apparently is not coded to recognized any of the aircraft manufacturers........... It really has me puzzled.
The only reaction I can seem to get out of the device is to ignore it and switch the power off, it then conveniently lets in anyone who wants to come into the airport!!!!!!! Geez and I thought I knew something about security, I had it all wrong! I was thinking for a moment it might have been a modern digital bubblegum machine but it wonít take $2 coins, and it definitely doesnít dispense AVGAS...... I really am lost!?
Iím beginning to think itís like one of those Chinese puzzles. I havenít tried to see if it plays music yet, I must say it is a very good puzzle because Iíve been here for 3 years and canít for the life of me work out what itís for. If it was a Jukebox thatíd be great location for Sunday Arvo drinks.
Maybe it only does things at night when people arenít watching?

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