18.2 C
Byron Shire
August 11, 2022

Tyagarah chopper estimates unrealistic

Latest News

Mullum locals protest flood-prone pod site

Around 40–50 locals gathered outside the Byron Shire Council chambers this morning to highlight the risks of, and lack of due process around, the selection of the flood accommodation pod site in Mullumbimby.

Other News

Recognition for Brunswick SLSC volunteers

Five national medals presented on behalf of Governor General David Hurley were some of the awards given to Brunswick...

Byron women’s AFL narrowly avoids first loss

A battle royale unfolded last Saturday afternoon at the Cavanbah oval when the Byron Bay women’s AFL team took...

Potholes

Who’s with me in launching a class action against Byron and Lismore councils for compensation for us hapless ratepayers...

A well-thought-out blend

Noy Ben Ami says that he ‘feels the vibe of the crowd and place’ before he starts to play his original music.

Only real farmers and real food at Byron Farmers Market

Later this year, Byron Farmers Market will celebrate its 20th birthday. An impressive feat given that when it first...

Charity day a big win for Moonshiners

The Mullumbimby Moonshiners rugby union raised over $7000 at their annual Beyond Blue Charity Day last weekend, and collected...

Bryce Ducker, Mullumbimby.

As the former owner of Byron Air Charter spanning ten years I note with a mixture of sadness and frustration that Byron Council, with full mayoral support, has embarked on a misguided crusade against commercial helicopter operations at Tyagarah airfield. Judging from the applause from the gallery at the mayor’s personal musings at the April 20 meeting, there is considerable populist support for this stance, also, in my view, seriously misguided.

Please allow me to inject a little perspective into the issue.

To all those concerned, and I acknowledge that the concern is real, I say to you that you have absolutely nothing to worry about. We know the size of the joyflight market, and it is tiny, certainly by comparison with the skydive market. At Byron Air Charter, running a lean operation using an economical four seat fixed wing aircraft, we did fewer than 200 landings per year – not even one a day – yes, mostly from joyflights but with other flights such as aerial survey, fire spotting, charters elsewhere and so on included. Helicopters are expensive to buy, operate, maintain, crew and insure. Any rational helicopter joyflight operator setting up at Tyagarah and using correct costings and pricing and with the vagaries of weather thrown in would struggle to consistently average one joyflight a day, let alone the six-eight being talked about. Welcome to reality, folks! I suggest this level of increased activity is not worthy of any of Council’s debating time.

These comments do not apply to gyrocopters, which are a different breed and subject to different rules.

Of great concern, however, and what appears to have been overlooked so far, is the message being sent to helicopter charter operators from elsewhere. Banning commercial operations at Tyagarah captures them too. Is this the message Byron, a tourist town known internationally, wants to send to these operators and their well-heeled clients? Go elsewhere to spend your money? Where would Council have them land? Butler Street reserve, perhaps?

Thankfully, we have Tyagarah.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Council: Goonellabah park not available for pods

Tuesday’s debate in the Lismore Council chambers was mostly about the community’s need for open, green space for sport and recreation balanced against the need for places to live.

Cabarita DA refused on character grounds

Tweed Shire Councillors refused a DA for a four-storey block of flats at 2-6 Tweed Coast Road, Cabarita Beach, despite the staff recommendation of approval.

Concerns over future of Murwillumbah Hospital

Northern NSW Local Health District have sought to reassure locals that facilities won't be downgraded or closed at Murwillumbah Hospital when the controversial new Tweed Valley Hospital in Cudgen near Kingscliff opens in 2023.

No letup in the struggle for climate justice

The 43 per cent emissions target passed last week in the House of Representatives lacks the ambition needed to radically diminish Australia’s contribution to global warming. It’s too little, too late.