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stevron

what my local Airfield means

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As I look around at my local airfield I am excited to see, 6 aircraft maintainer companies, 2 pilot training schools (GA) , a helicopter pilot training school, fuel and oil depot , emergency services heli pad and ambulance patient transfer area, I see numerous airside commercial operations from freight forwarders to power line inspectors to mention a couple operations.

I see a beautiful new airport terminal building filled with happy travelers and visitors. Outside the terminal building sits brightly painted RPT aircrafts patiently poised awaiting the arrival of new passengers and cargo.

So as I think about what the airfield means to myself and my home town , I see hundreds of employment opportunities for maintainers, airside security, dispatchers, Help Desk’s , Car hirers , taxis , truck drivers, flight instructors, administrators , and list goes on. We even have some air cadets happily being part of the airside experience.

There is life happening around my airport , careers are being forged . I see a happy vibrant environment, that is what I see .

But, when I turn to private Light GA air craft (which includes RA aircraft), all I see and hear about is landing fees , air services fees, Asic card costs ,aircraft and car parking fees and hangar fees, unfair council rates and by the metre lease costs for the land.

By far the biggest of all complaints “no infrastructure for pilots or GA planes”

It appears to some, that the council makes a lot of money from RPT and commercial operations and spends accordingly on these operations. Yet nothing improves or changes for GA even though they too are Levied landing and parking fees etc and worst of all, the airside operator does not offer a simple thing like a toilet near the GA parking area. When I taxi past the casual GA parking area and see it empty , I ask myself what is the most likely cause, Is it Council or air services fees , is it a lack of infrastructure ie toilet and lack of a rest area etc, (a lot of airside locations only have aero clubs offering rest areas) is it the fear of the control tower or is it that light air craft pilots do not feel welcome at location like my home air field. I see some overseas students flying over from other locations , but they do not stay or spend any time at the air field, but at least the airfield operator gets a cut for landing fees.

It is all well to pay for services but our local air field operator appears to take advantage of light air craft and their pilots. All over our wonderful country is a need for an agreement between local pilots and air operators to encourage transient pilots to stay in beautiful cities like mine. There is more to my town than aircraft operator fees.

How much is the City loosing by levying landing fees to private flyers , bring back casual parking zones full of light aircraft and see what that does local community.

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I've never taken a U/L into there. Just go to Wangaratta. Flown F 27's into there when I was paid to. Used to carry Arthur Caldwell through to Canberra. He always stayed on the plane during turn around. . You meet people on Fokkers . Met Ted Heath at Canberra on the Tarmac alone when he was the British PM. Had a yack about sailing. Mining people in the Territory. etc. Nev

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There is a critical mass. We often fly to Maryborough Vic but there is never anyone there. So many times we just overfly, look down and see no cars or planes, and go somewhere else. But if you can land and have a chat, a coffee or a pie, then you are building critical mass. At Kyneton we have lots of drop ins and a good social scene, with potential to build it further. It would be great to attract a permanent business like a LAME. The more traffic the better in my opinion.

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