PI­LOTS AND DRAGS

Dubbo Photo News - - Front page - By YVETTE AUBUSSON-FO­LEY

PI­LOTS and drag rac­ers will con­tinue to share the same strip of tar­mac near Welling­ton for at least an­other three years.

Dubbo City Car Club (DCCC) has en­tered into a new three­year agree­ment with Dubbo Re­gional Coun­cil, with a three­year op­tion, to con­tinue rac­ing 10 weeks of the year at Welling­ton Air­port, also known as Bon­dan­gora Airstrip, a move which has frus­trated Ae­ro­club mem­bers.

“We get peo­ple from all over

the cen­tral west rac­ing. Drag rac­ing has huge po­ten­tial. We just need a de­cent fa­cil­ity,” DCCC sec­re­tary Jim Fife told Dubbo Photo News.

Welling­ton Ae­ro­club, which has used the same site for more the 60 years, has long been vexed by Coun­cil’s dual use of the fa­cil­ity, as well as the im­po­si­tion of land­ing fees that were in­tro­duced in the last bud­get, mak­ing Welling­ton air­port only the eighth in the coun­try to at­tract land­ing fees but not have pub­lic toi­lets or fuel.

` Bo­dan­gora is too nar­row and some of the sur­faces aren’t all that smooth. We can’t at­tract the big­ger and faster cars. We’re still work­ing on a per­ma­nent lo­ca­tion. We’re de­ter­mined to get some­thing be­cause it has huge po­ten­tial... a – Dubbo City Car Club sec­re­tary Jim Fife

PI­LOTS and drag rac­ers will con­tinue to share the same strip of tar­mac near Welling­ton for at least an­other three years.

Dubbo City Car Club (DCCC) has en­tered into a new three-year agree­ment, with a three-year op­tion, to con­tinue rac­ing 10 weeks of the year at Welling­ton Air­port, also known as Bon­dan­gora Airstrip, a move which has frus­trated Ae­ro­club mem­bers.

In Novem­ber 2014, the for­mer Dubbo City Coun­cil sold the club a land­locked block near Brock­le­hurst, a part of the Coun­cil-owned ‘Green­grove’ prop­erty, where a ded­i­cated drag rac­ing strip could have been de­vel­oped. How­ever, cit­ing a need to up­grade the road to ac­cess the block as one rea­son why the club hasn’t been able to af­ford the de­vel­op­ment of “Green­grove”, it will now con­tinue to host events on the run­way at Welling­ton Air­port, while main­tain­ing ef­forts to find a per­ma­nent home.

“We get peo­ple from all over the cen­tral west rac­ing. Drag rac­ing has huge po­ten­tial. We just need a de­cent fa­cil­ity,” DCCC sec­re­tary Jim Fife told Dubbo Photo News.

“If we had a per­ma­nent fa­cil­ity, we’d be able to at­tract the big names,” he said.

Welling­ton Air­port is also home to the Welling­ton Ae­ro­club which was granted a por­tion of the Bo­dan­gora Town Com­mon by the for­mer Welling­ton Coun­cil in 1955 to de­velop a run­way and cross strip run­way, rais­ing funds for light­ing and pay­ing Welling­ton Coun­cil to in­stall them.

They have since built a hangar, em­ploy­ing Matt Red­fern Con­struc­tions from Welling­ton to lay a con­crete floor and help fix the roof iron, and pur­chased a shed kit from Ul­tra Steel sheds, Mo­long.

Other users of the air­port in­clude cor­rec­tional ser­vices for pris­oner trans­fers, and so­cial, com­mer­cial and char­ity air­craft.

The club has long been vexed by Coun­cil’s dual use of the fa­cil­ity and the im­po­si­tion of land­ing fees that were in­tro­duced in the last bud­get, mak­ing Welling­ton air­port the eighth in the coun­try without pub­lic toi­lets or fuel to at­tract land­ing fees.

Part of DRC’S agree­ment with the DCCC in­cludes use of a de­mount­able build­ing at the air­port and sur­round­ing land.

“The Dubbo City Car Club have in­di­cated a will­ing­ness to work with Coun­cil to sup­port air­craft users in­clud­ing hous­ing the Av­data record­ing sys­tem and en­able fly-in pi­lots to use rest room fa­cil­i­ties at the de­mount­able build­ing,” an Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Busi­ness and Cor­po­rate Com­mit­tee Coun­cil prop­erty as­sets man­ager re­port states.

Iron­i­cally how­ever, dur­ing a drag rac­ing event or driver train­ing event, the run­way is closed to all air traf­fic who could not use rest room fa­cil­i­ties at the de­mount­able build­ing even if they wanted to.

An Av­data record­ing sys­tem is an au­to­mated mon­i­tor air­craft and bills them for land­ing at the air­port, to as­sist with main­te­nance costs of the air­port.

How­ever, Coun­cil’s re­port re­gard­ing the li­cence agree­ment be­tween coun­cil and the DCCC at Bo­dan­gora Aero­drome (Welling­ton Air­port) says the agree­ment has the po­ten­tial to “shift the on­go­ing main­te­nance and mon­i­tor­ing of cer­tain aero­drome tasks from Coun­cil staff onto the Car Club for cost sav­ing ben­e­fits to Coun­cil”.

Coun­cil ar­gues a ‘part­nered ap­proach’ be­tween DRC and DCCC “will sup­port the ef­fec­tive man­age­ment of the fa­cil­ity, (and) im­prove ap­pear­ance of the de­mount­able build­ing, whilst also in­creas­ing com­mu­nity use and visi­ta­tion”.

Nev­er­the­less, DCCC still wants a per­ma­nent home.

“Bo­dan­gora is too nar­row and some of the sur­faces aren’t all that smooth. We can’t at­tract the big­ger and faster cars. We’re still work­ing on a per­ma­nent lo­ca­tion. We’re de­ter­mined to get some­thing be­cause it has huge po­ten­tial.”

Loan re­pay­ments made by DCCC to Coun­cil for the Green­grove waste­water ir­ri­ga­tion farmland will be re­funded. „

PHO­TOS: SUP­PLIED.

Above: Welling­ton Ae­ro­club mem­bers have in­vested heav­ily in the Welling­ton Air­port for 64 years, yet have been over­looked as care­tak­ers of the fa­cil­ity. Dubbo City Car Club is re­turn­ing to Bo­dan­gora for three years to race and ful­fil quasi care­taker du­ties, while re­main­ing stead­fast they’ll one day have a per­ma­nent fa­cil­ity of their own.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.