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Byron Shire
March 26, 2023

Lismore airport supported by community?

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I am writing in response to your article, ‘Lismore airport supported by community’.

First of all, the Lismore airport is obviously supported by the community. The debate that has arisen is not about the airport as it was up to 2018/19, but about its usage as a Pilot Training Hub.

We have been living in our place at North Lismore since 2003. Aircraft noise had never been an issue whatsoever until approximately mid-2020. At that time, probably May–June, the number of low flying planes circling straight over our house increased dramatically. We recorded up to 31 planes within one hour! There were more than 80 planes in one day. We were very alarmed.

Then COVID and the global pandemic reached Lismore and the planes decreased and pretty much stopped since. So, in a way the timing of the ‘Airport Noise Survey’ by the Lismore City Council was very unfortunate, since there is no noise!

However, it is clear, that once we are living with COVID and travel and especially international travel resumes, pilot training utilising Lismore Airport will start up again.

In fact the plan seems to be for a large increase in pilot circuit training.  Numbers of between 30,000 and 70,000 aircraft movements per year could be on the cards. These are the numbers experienced by unfortunate residents of other pilot training hubs in the country e.g. Kempsey and Mildura.

This is clearly unacceptable. Noise pollution will be constant for many parts of Lismore and surrounds. There will be no escaping; no going for walks in peace and quiet, family picnics or barbecues.

A ‘Flying Neighbourly’ agreement will not make much of a difference, with the sheer number of planes in the sky. This issue will not only impact on many residents of Lismore and villages, it will also affect future generations.

Lismore takes great pride in our Organic Market, our farmers’ markets, market gardens, etc. Lismore currently has very healthy air quality, contributing to a great quality of life for its residents. This would be a thing of the past.

Lismore City Council wisely declared a climate emergency in 2019. The noise and air pollution caused by the planned use of the Lismore Airport as a pilot training hub is clearly not in the interest of Lismore as a proud city or its residents.

Ulrich Hoffmann


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  1. Lismore airport has been a ‘pilot training hub’ for well over fifty years. The aircraft rarely fly over the Hoffmans’ house as they are outside the circuit area for the airport. (I live closer to the airport and they barely fly over my place) I’m surprised they can hear the aircraft over the noise from the local cement works. As for air pollution, Terania Street is much busier with traffic and associated pollution than anything produced by the aircraft. And please – up to 70K aircraft movements per year? That would entail 15 aircraft movements every hour for 12 hours a day for every day of the year – that figure is just rediculous. Could people please get their facts straight and support the local aviation industry, and the associated employment and services it provides, rather than writing innacurate, fear mongering mistruths.


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