Han­gar dis­pute at aero­drome

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - LAWRENCE GULLERY

A han­gar con­structed at the Wa­haroa Aero­drome vi­o­lates avi­a­tion rules and poses a risk to air­craft users, the Pi­ako Glid­ing Club claims.

The club said it was alarmed the Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Council ap­proved plans to build the new han­gar over part of the aero­drome’s run­way apron.

Club pres­i­dent Ian Wood sug­gested the han­gar’s lo­ca­tion in­fringes a num­ber of aero­drome safety guide­lines and pos­si­bly the council’s own rules for build­ing across bound­aries.

He said there was no ar­gu­ment about the need for new hangars at the aero­drome, to meet de­mand.

But it was the lo­ca­tion of the new build­ing, which re­duced ma­noeu­vring space, in con­tention.

‘‘The crux of the point is that glid­ers have long wing­spans and ma­noeu­vring them through tight spa­ces is not de­sir­able as dam­age may re­sult.’’

He said glid­ers had a wing­span of 17m, oth­ers were 22m.

‘‘Mod­ern glid­ers, on or­der by Pi­ako Glid­ing Club mem­bers, have spans of up to 25 me­ters. In ad­di­tion to the span, a safe mar­gin of at least 6m, three at ei­ther side, must be al­lowed.’’

Wood said the club had lob­bied the council on its pre­ferred han­gar lo­ca­tion.

There was a site meet­ing with aero­drome users and council rep­re­sen­ta­tives in April.

A fol­low-up let­ter from mayor Jan Barnes con­firmed that hangars ‘‘should not en­croach any fur­ther on to the apron area’’.

Club mem­ber, Dave Den­ni­son, a geotech en­gi­neer with ex­pe­ri­ence in plan­ning, pro­vided the council with al­ter­na­tive sites for new hangars.

But in Au­gust, club mem­bers no­ticed con­struc­tion had be­gun on the con­tested site.

In a writ­ten re­sponse, the council said it ac­knowl­edged the lo­ca­tion of the new han­gar had changed the ma­noeu­vring space at some points.

It said how­ever that the min­i­mum ma­noeu­vring space avail­able for air­craft had not changed.

‘‘For some glid­ers this is 24m and for oth­ers it is 30m. Glid­ers are al­lo­cated han­gar space ac­cord­ing to their wing­span.

‘‘The 24m gap that some glid­ers have to ma­noeu­vre be­tween does not seem to cause a prob­lem. The gap be­tween the new han­gar and a fuel pump is 36m.’’

The council said as a re­sult of feed­back, it had de­cided no fur­ther han­gar de­vel­op­ment would oc­cur in this area.

‘‘This will en­sure events, in­clud­ing park­ing, can con­tinue to be hosted suc­cess­fully.’’

A se­cond han­gar un­der con­struc­tion, was fur­ther away from the run­way and would not in­ter­fere with air­craft move­ments. The council said the new han­gar com­plied with its build­ing rules.

LAWRENCE GULLERY

A glid­ing club con­tests this new han­gar was built across a small sec­tion of the aer­drome’s run­way.

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