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Second airport for Canberra?

By johnboy 3 May 2010 38

The ABC informs us that $50k worth of government money is going to be spent doing a feasibility study for a new airstrip at Williamsdale to accommodate the region’s private flyers.

This would be the private flyers who want to drive 30 minutes to have a fly, but not 60 minutes to drive to Goulburn.

The private flyers who can afford to buy or rent aeroplanes.

Government money for everyone it seems.

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Second airport for Canberra?
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JZilb 1:19 pm 02 Aug 10

Skyring said :

NickD said :

Just quietly, but BBP is actually rather well planned, with lots of open space, plentiful parking, interesting and practical buildings.

Practical buildings ey? You can tell NickD hasn’t tried to land an aeroplane on runway 35 lately ;-P

Give me half of that $50k and I’ll tell the government just how feasible it is! Hell, I’ll be able to quit one of my three jobs (four jobs if you’re one of those beautiful people who actually consider being a musician as a job) and nearly finish my commercial pilot license. What Benster said is very true, the importance of General aviation and training is so widely misunderstood all over the world, but then whether the study itself is worth it and whether they’ll actually build a new aerodrome out there is a whole other thing!

I moved from Canberra to Merimbula this year to do my commercial training because it was cheaper to move out of my parents’ place in Canberra and do it down here. That turned out to be an even better idea than I first thought since Brindabella Airlines closed their flying school, the last flying school in Canberra.

I could write a hundred paragraphs on this subject but it would only be repeating what has already been said so my only suggestion to those naysayers is to grab themselves a copy of ‘16 Right‘ and pray to the Gods of aviation that if they actually do this study, it won’t be a waste of money and they will realise the need for this new aerodrome and build it!

Benster 11:02 am 01 Jun 10

This might come as a surprise to you, Johnboy, but every single person flying a big aircraft started out by flying a small one. This includes the people who fly for the following purposes:

* Airliners
* Air freight
* Search and rescue
* Aerial firefighting
* Medical evacuation, including the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the South Care rescue helicopter and transporting organs for donation
* Non-emergency medical transport
* Agriculture, including crop dusting, aerial seeding, stock feeding and mustering
* Oceanography (charting and depth-sounding inshore areas)
* Disaster relief
* News gathering
* Weather observation
* Phone and power line maintenance

If people don’t have anywhere to learn to fly small planes, then you won’t have anyone to fly the big ones.

So if you have ever traveled by air, bought stuff from overseas on the Internet and had it air-freighted to Australia, been affected by bushfires or any other natural disaster, eaten pest-free fruit, grains or vegetables, eaten beef, needed an organ transplant, had to be rescued, watched a story on the news obtained by helicopter, made a long-distance domestic phone call, navigated a boat by means of a maritime chart or relied on a weather forecast, then you’ve benefited from the services of a pilot who got their wings flying light aircraft at a flying school.

But, if you’ve never used any one of the above services, and never plan to, then I suppose your argument, painting general aviation pilots, instructors and operators as a self-indulgent elite, is tenable.

I’m a student pilot, so the issue for me is the nearest flying schools are now Camden and Moruya.

I’m not crying poor by any means: Getting my pilot’s license has been a big goal of mine for a long time, and I’m prepared to pay to do it.

But it seems pretty ridiculous to me that I have to drive two hours away from the nation’s capital and a city of 300,000 people to get to the nearest flight instructor.

Look at it another way – I’m now taking a big chunk portion of my net income, earned in Canberra, and spending it in Sydney. Is that good for Canberra and the ACT economy?

I didn’t think so.

Mr Evil 2:57 pm 09 May 10

Anna Key said :

Is this why the “No Gliders” banners have appeared on the Monaro just past the Johnson Dve roundabout? Not sure what noise the gliders make (other than the tow plane)

Oh, that’s because Gliders frighten the Legless, Earless Bearded Dragon that is very rare in those parts of the ACT.

Either that, or someone’s paranoid they’ll crash into their house, or something.

Typhoon 12:06 pm 09 May 10

Hooray! Somewhere GA friendly to fly. GA is being killed off all over the east coast, all the aerodromes near metropolitan areas having severe pressure applied to them to shut don (by NIMBY’s who bought in the new housing estates under the aerodrome flightpaths).
I see it as a great thing for the ACT, do not discount the money a regional aerodrome will generate, there will be at least a couple of maintenance operations relocate there (due to the great GA squeeze), at least one petroleum supplier etc, plus maintenance staff.
I might even try to wrangle some sort of full time work out of it, am qualified in enough areas for it.
Never mind I might actually start flying again, driving an hour to fly at a second rate aerodrome (Goulburn) is really not worth it.
It’d be a fantastic day, head out to the coast, maybe Moruya to have lunch with the relatives, maybe beautiful, picturesque Merimbula…..suffer you non pilots, you’ll NEVER know the pleasure unless you get out there and do it.
I love the elitist BS spread by people “oh, pilots are wealthy!” Sure. Why is it O.K for people to spend $5k a year on bicycles and related gear, but pilots do it and it’s snobbery?
I suspect jealousy…too lazy to get off your ass and learn to fly yourself, too afraid to commit to the study and effort involved, too afraid to challenge yourself with new goals…..I’ve heard all the excuses not to learn to fly and they’re all weak.

Anna Key 9:46 pm 08 May 10

Is this why the “No Gliders” banners have appeared on the Monaro just past the Johnson Dve roundabout? Not sure what noise the gliders make (other than the tow plane)

Skyring 9:49 am 08 May 10

NickD said :

Any competition to Canberra airport can’t be a bad thing, particularly as it doesn’t seem that Jim Snow has any real interest in the aviation side of the business (it’s notable that the airport upgrade came way after he turned much of the spare land into a really horrible office park).

Just quietly, but BBP is actually rather well planned, with lots of open space, plentiful parking, interesting and practical buildings. Compared to the average inner city office tower – and isn’t Civic turning into Sydney these days? – it’s a pleasant working environment. The recent roadworks have helped cut the congestion, and once the full airport terminal is off the ground – so to speak – it will be a really nice package.

sepi 9:51 pm 06 May 10

Is there some kind of military training thing going on or something – there are heaps of noisy smallish planes going around at the moment – like one just now, a wierd white one at 3ish, and one at the crack of dawn that sounded like a lawnmower with wings. Are they gearing up for an airshow or what?

p1 10:45 am 05 May 10

As for the myth that aircraft noise causes sleeplessness… try telling that to people who live next to railway lines. They manage to sleep soundly with noise levels several dB higher than even the loudest aircraft noise experienced by Canberrans.

Is this a pro-light-rail argument then?

troll-sniffer 10:13 am 05 May 10

dvaey said :

astrojax said :

There is no flying school, all those little cessnas flying over your house will be replaced by 737s. Enjoy your peace from the single engines until you realise its being replaced with jets, and 24-hr freight jets at that.

Aaah negative to that dvaey. The big iron only use 17/35 which take off and land over the Majura Valley and Taree. Every new generation gets a bit quieter. I grew up in Hackett in the 70s and I remember not being able to hear the TV for a couple of minutes every time a 727 or DC9 took off to the north. These current whingers who bleat about the aircraftg noise in hackett and Watson don’t have an ear to stand on, today’s aircraft noise is easily swamped by hoons and Harleys up to a suburb away.

The biggest aircraft to use runway 30 for takeoffs going over Campbell are the Dash 8s and they only do so a couple of times a year when strong westerlies are blowing. The only other traffic you will get directly over the inner north are General Aviation (Cessnas and the like) light RPT (the twins that fly to Wagga etc), VIP jets doing circuits to train pilots in Canberra’s layout, and once in a blue moon a 737 or similar might sneak overhead
if forced to ‘go around’.

When and if the 24 hour option comes into operation the freight dogs will fly in and out of 17/35, impacting the Majura Valley and Taree only. It’s likely that noise abatement regulations will be tougher and Melbourne-bound planes will be required to go further north before turning left, and curved paths will be set for aircraft operating south. As for the myth that aircraft noise causes sleeplessness… try telling that to people who live next to railway lines. They manage to sleep soundly with noise levels several dB higher than even the loudest aircraft noise experienced by Canberrans.

dvaey 9:16 am 05 May 10

astrojax said :

Im not sure where you get the 30 minute estimate from, but Williamsdale is 15km down Monaro Highway which is 100km/hr (and rarely congested South of Canberra), its barely more than 10min.

10 minutes of monaro highway driving, dvaey, but another 20mins through traffic from the city to get there…

I guess if you live in Gungahlin, it might take 30min. For those of us on the south-side, maybe 15min instead of 10.

DeadlySchnauzer said :

I think I would speak for many inner north residents when i say… Hooray! no more light aircraft flying over my house!

There is no flying school, all those little cessnas flying over your house will be replaced by 737s. Enjoy your peace from the single engines until you realise its being replaced with jets, and 24-hr freight jets at that.

Wraith 6:27 pm 04 May 10

I wonder if this project/promise will go the same way the new dragway project went….

Lots of please re-elect me talk but we won’t do jack.

astrojax 5:08 pm 04 May 10

Im not sure where you get the 30 minute estimate from, but Williamsdale is 15km down Monaro Highway which is 100km/hr (and rarely congested South of Canberra), its barely more than 10min.

10 minutes of monaro highway driving, dvaey, but another 20mins through traffic from the city to get there…

churl 3:12 pm 04 May 10

DeadlySchnauzer said :

I think I would speak for many inner north residents when i say… Hooray! no more light aircraft flying over my house!

Anyone who has bought a house around there within at least the last 50 years knew there was an airport nearby!
Lord Snow has dramatically cut small plane flying, which for some reason always seemed much noiser than the big ones: I think the light planes tended to fly east/west (thus over Campbell)
But my sympathy is with the pilots: the Snowdom is clearly focussed on profits not on being an airport and apparently priced general aviation away.

DeadlySchnauzer 2:42 pm 04 May 10

And yeah what sepi said, we get far more than 3 or 4 a day. I think there are a few heavy air traffic areas that get the majority of flights, ie the ring of suburbs adjacent to mount ainslie.

sepi 11:49 am 04 May 10

We get a lot more than 3 or 4 light aircraft a day. Some weekends they go over continuously all afternoon. I am kind of resigned to them now. I would worry that if they move on, their little flightpath over our house will be given over to Qantas.

DeadlySchnauzer 9:34 am 04 May 10

Blingerific said :

Lemme guess, because you’re worried they’re spraying chemtrails are you?

Nah just the noise, and the fact that they often seem to fly over at odd hours (eg 6:30am or 11:30pm)… i swear there is meant to be some night time/early morning curfew in place for flights over the suburbs, but apparently not.

Blingerific 9:26 pm 03 May 10

DeadlySchnauzer
I think I would speak for many inner north residents when i say… Hooray! no more light aircraft flying over my house!

Lemme guess, because you’re worried they’re spraying chemtrails are you?

I live in the Inner North and there is next to no issues with the three or four light aircraft that fly over in a day.

Mr Evil 8:02 pm 03 May 10

Um, I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but another proposed use for an airfield at Williamsdale is as a base for those ‘elitist’ fire fighting helicopters that come to Canberra each Summer. Plus, you may like to do some research as I have no doubt this airfield will be a user pays facility, with some sort of landing fee charged for the upkeep of the airfield and its facilities.

Compared to most of the other things the ACT Govt wastes money on, an airfield at Williamsdale is a great investment for the Govt to make; especially if a flying school is established in that location, as theat will bring a bit of money into the local economy.

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