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May 17, 2021

Lofty plan to use Murwillumbah Airfield for sky diving plummets back to earth

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Plans to use the Murwillumbah Airfield for sky diving operations look set to be rejected by Tweed Council this week.

Gold Coast company Learn to Skydive had sought to use the airfield as a pick-up and refuelling point after its customers had been dropped over the Murwillumbah Racecourse.

Image: Sky’s the Limit sky diving centre

The application came before the Council at its February meeting, with councillors voting to defer the matter so that Learn to Skydive could address a series of matters, including safety concerns.

But with the company failing to provide any response, Council staff have recommended the application be rejected, a recommendation that councillors appear likely to accept.

Staff have also recommended that Council resolve to discourage ongoing skydiving operations from the Airfield due to an incompatibility with existing operations.

Council will vote on the matter at this Thursday’s full council meeting.

The Proposal 

The proposal was for the company’s aircraft to pick up parachutists each day at the Gold Coast Airport and drop them over the drop zone located at the Murwillumbah Racecourse before landing at Murwillumbah Airfield.

The plane would then reload with fresh parachutists, refuel and drop again, continuing this pattern until the last load of the day which would then return to the Gold Coast Airport.

Fresh parachutists would be brought into Murwillumbah Airfield on a mini-bus for each circuit.

The pickup vehicle would then transfer the dropped parachutists back to the Gold Coast Airport.

Tweed Council has already given approval for the company to use the racecourse as a drop zone.

The Issues

Members of the public, including local pilots raised a number of concerns in relation to the proposal.

Some related to the lack of facilities including car parking, public toilets as well as pedestrian access safety.

Others expressed concerned about the proximity of the drop zone to the circuit of the Murwillumbah Airfield.

Numerous experienced pilots made submissions to the effect that this represented a ‘very clear and present risk’ given the existing airfield users.

This includes non-general Aaiation aircraft such as sports aircraft, gryocoptors, paragliders that are not required to operate radios to broadcast their position and intended actions.

Failure to respond 

Given the lack of response from the company in relation to these and other issues, staff recommended that Council refuse the application due to an ‘incompatibility with existing operations’.


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4 COMMENTS

  1. Good. Who is no fed up with these money hungry, greed fileld idiotic Queenslanders coming into our shires and taking over wiht their insane self serving moiney making scams? Stay in Qld. You are not welcome in NSW any more.

  2. I think we have to be open to the future and our adventure,excitement,of our young ones and some of us older ones..lol. I know nothing a bout the ins and
    outs of the racecourse etc. But it would bring alot of revenue to Murwillumbah.
    Just saying ……

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