Airstrip attack launch
A NOOSA councillor is attempting to take a local government ground-to-air "missile" to commercial helicopter training at the Teewah landing strip.
Cr Tony Wellington at Thursday's council meeting in Tewantin has given notice of a motion to shut down the contentious flights, including missed approach practice, but allow continued community use of the site for model aircraft and ultralights.
His motion will seek council backing to follow the recommendation of the 1991 Fitzgerald Commission Inquiry in Fraser Island and Great Sandy Region conservation management to have the site included in the surrounding national park.
"The time is right to bring the matter to a head," Cr Wellington said on Friday.
The newly-elected councillor knows he may have a real battle on his hands to a majority approval.
"The council views the aviation sector as an important growth industry for the region," Cr Wellington said.
"To that end the airstrip on North Shore has been identified to help cater for that growth.
"Of course that means increased impact on both local residents and also the world-class national park in which the landing ground reserve is embedded."
He said although fixed wing aircraft were not supposed to use the airstrip, there appeared to have been increased use of the site for missed-approach training.
"I argue that even if the wheels don't touch the ground, such activity is still a clear use of the landing ground and should be stopped.
"Without doubt, ongoing use of the Noosa North Shore Landing Ground for commercial pilot training is in direct conflict with the intentions of the national park and this is supported by the various state-generated documents relating to its use," Cr Wellington said.
The motion wants to see a halt to all commercial activity as of January.
"It will be interesting to see how the dice fall on Thursday - whether the majority of councillors view the commercial use of the landing ground as being of greater importance than resident amenity and nature conservation," Cr Wellington said.
"I very much doubt that the vote will be unanimous."
The councillor said while it did not appear possible to monitor flights using the landing strip, increased helicopter flights in and around Noosa had been a major source of complaint by residents, with the office staff of Noosa MP Glen Elmes reporting this issue had generated more complaints than any other in recent times.
"I have received complaints from residents living in Weyba Downs, Peregian Springs, Doonan, Eumundi, Noosaville, Noosa North Shore, Tewantin, Tinbeerwah, Cooroibah, Cooroy Mountain, Cootharaba and Boreen Point," Cr Wellington said.
"Each complaint tells the same story of noise and increased helicopter operations commencing from early morning, throughout the day and into late evening.
"The complaints all indicate that the helicopters are low-flying. When I made initial inquiries I was advised that flights would be at approximately 2000 or 3000ft and would be flying in from the sea to lessen the noise impact. Clearly this is not happening."
Cr Wellington said there were numerous reports of helicopters flying low across the lakes, and "residents at Noosa Banks have counted the same helicopters making up to 37 loops or passes before heading south again".