14 C
Byron Shire
June 20, 2021

Tyagarah chopper estimates unrealistic

Latest News


Vyvyan Stott, Mullumbumby The government doctors have announced that vaccinations are compulsory for nurses . Yet our constitution states parliament may...

Other News

Pocket Herbs and Indigenous organisation, Currie Country partner to supply native foods

An important ingredient in creating a high-quality, unique dining experience in the Northern Rivers is the diversity and availability...

Is it really an MO? Or just a subdivision?

Ray Goodwin, MARRA Ratepayers and residents are to eat dust, cooked in potholes on Blindmouth Road because of the road conditions...

Will Multiple Occupancies rise again in Byron?

Could Multiple Occupancy housing developments be reintroduced in the Byron Shire as a way of addressing the growing housing crisis?

Connor just wants to finish his HSC in 2021

On March 23 2019 Connor Meldrum’s life changed forever and he has spent much of the last two years trying to regain normality – that is, as much normality as you can with only half a skull.

Two WRHS rescue flights from Tabulam in one day

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WRHS) say they travelled to Tabulam twice yesterday in separate incidents in the town.

Healthy Minds Club powering ahead

Since The Echo last spoke to Lennox Head's Jackson Connellan, from The Healthy Minds Club, things have become even...

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.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bad news

Raphael Lee Cass, Byron Bay I’ve taken umbrage with the expression, ‘fake news,’ – proud of our Echo – but the article on page 5,...

Tender to build rail trail from M’bah to Crabbes Creek awarded

The debate over the tender for the building of the rail trail between Murwillumbh and Crabbes Creek was ultimately held behind closed doors, Mayor...

Massive multi-dwelling Paterson Street DA before Planning Panel

The Northern Regional Planning Panel (NRPP), an unelected consent authority that overrides Council decision making, will be considering a 14 townhouse DA for Paterson...

Backsliders coming to Lennox

Australian music legends the Backsliders are coming to Lennox Head for the first time, to play at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre on Saturday 26 June 2021.