Avi­a­tion devel­op­ment in re­gion

Central and North Burnett Times - - OPINION -

IWAS in Gayn­dah, only be­cause I stayed for three days over Christ­mas in the Bur­nett area with friends with a strip and an RAAus air­craft.

I met th­ese peo­ple as I am a recre­ational pi­lot. I was driv­ing through Gayn­dah onmy way north to meet other peo­ple I have met through fly­ing. I stopped at a lo­cal mo­tel and have al­ready bought fuel, food, bought goods and postage from the post of­fice, the seafood shop, newsagent and or­ganic store (about $300 so far).

I bought the Cen­tral and Bur­nett Times specif­i­cally to read the ar­ti­cle about avi­a­tion.

I be­long to var­i­ous clubs from Red­cliffe, Ca­bool­ture, Gympie, Watts Bridge, Clifton and South Bur­nett.

I go to as many fly-ins as I can through­out the year, whether I fly or drive there. I have been in­volved in recre­ational avi­a­tion for over 12 years now. When­ever I go to a town, I make a point of not bring­ing food, or petrol from Bris­bane, but to spend as much as I can at the lo­cal stores. This could be $100–$300 or more de­pend­ing on the length of stay.

When Nat­fly, the main RAAus Fly-in, was moved from Narromine to Temora, I was sur­prised at the involvement the lo­cal peo­ple from Temora had in the event.

With wel­com­ing ban­ners across the main street, to lo­cal clubs man­ning food out­lets on the field and a rep­re­sen­ta­tion by the coun­cil pro­mot­ing the area.

The first event was held in the midst of that de­struc­tive drought where nearby towns had all but closed down.

Temora has a bustling econ­omy with much fo­cus on events through­out the year based at the air­field. I spoke to coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives and lo­cals that ex­pressed their grat­i­tude of the fore­sight of the coun­cil­lors who had made that leap of faith.

My only re­gret is of the greed of peo­ple in Bris­bane and at other ar­eas on the coast who seem hell-bent on mak­ing the cost of avi­a­tion so ex­pen­sive at fields like Archer­field, to close th­ese es­sen­tial avi­a­tion bases down for fur­ther in­dus­try and hous­ing.

Red­cliffe, Ca­bool­ture, Caloun­dra have ab­sorbed some of the over­flow from Archer­field, but the one now-too-huge coun­cil con­trol­ling th­ese three air­fields has slowly recog­nised they will not be able to close any of th­ese fa­cil­i­ties, with­out un­af­ford­able com­pen­sa­tion pay­ments.

Th­ese air­fields have all but run out of hangarage and costs are con­se­quently in­creas­ing to lev­els only af­forded by the very wealthy, mak­ing it al­most im­pos­si­ble to own your air­craft in th­ese ar­eas.

Ar­eas such as Evans Heads are be­ing forced out by greedy de­vel­op­ers.

By of­fer­ing cheaper hangarage or even hous­ing blocks ad­join­ing the air­port, could bring per­ma­ment res­i­dents.

Or of­fer­ing avi­a­tion re­lated busi­nesses, premises that could be used as a vi­able alternative to Archer­field would be a good di­rec­tion.

En­cour­ag­ing and sup­port­ing fly­ing groups by per­haps of­fer­ing a club and a ba­sic train­ing fa­cil­ity, and ba­sic camp­ing, shower and toi­let fa­cil­i­ties, is a great start as well as hav­ing Av Gas and Mo Gas on the field for the var­i­ous air­craft and light­ing for night ac­tiv­ity if that is not al­ready there.

He­lena Mor­ton


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