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Byron Shire
February 26, 2024

Lismore Residents Action Group say ‘no’ to Increased flight training

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The Lismore Residents Action Group say they do not object to the future development of the airport, they say the reality is that they are specifically concerned about the considerable increase in aircraft noise caused by flight training, which includes circuit and night training and the disturbance to those living in Lismore and surrounding areas.

Spokesperson for the Residents Action Group, Gertrud Kurtz, said the group want to be made very clear that they are not against the airport or local pilots. ‘The group fully supports community services such as the rescue helicopter, Rex, medical flights and other long-established airport activities and also support the development of the airport as a business and tourist opportunity.’

Noise greatly increased from January 2020

Ms Kurtz said these residents, who have lived in Lismore for many years, had no complaints about aircraft noise. ‘The noise greatly increased from January 2020 due to an increase in flight training. There has been little attempt by Council to address or mitigate the distress caused by the increased noise and air pollution.

‘When the group and other residents approached Council last year they were advised to send their complaints about aircraft noise to Airservices Australia only to be told that the issue is not a problem and that Airservices Australia do not monitor Lismore airport.

‘Council continues to direct all aircraft noise complainants to this organisation when this handballing of the issue is of no use.

‘Fly Neighbourly’ guideline

Ms Kurtz says that after several months of complaints from residents, Lismore Council did prepare a ‘Fly Neighbourly’ guideline which recommends that pilots be aware of the distress that extra noise causes the community living under flight paths and to modify their flight paths.

‘However,’ says Ms Kurtz, ‘The flight paths for circuit training specified in the ‘Fly Neighbourly’ guideline still enable the training circuits to fly directly over highly populated residential areas and there are no binding obligations or consequences when the guideline is ignored.

‘The Resident Action Group also approached Lismore Airport management about this issue with no response. The group feels that the lack of transparency and unavailability is deeply concerning and requires more communication and clarification.

During lockdown pilot training ceased

‘Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic with the lockdown of the international borders pilot training ceased and there has been no issue with excessive air traffic over Lismore. Many of the trainee pilots are from Asian countries and have not been able to enter Australia.

‘It is obvious that the reduction in air traffic since then has reduced aircraft noise to acceptable levels. However, for the Lismore Council to conduct an airport survey when pilot training had stopped due to border closures is not a fair or accurate means of determining resident opinion.

The Lismore Airport Resident Action Group and their supporters are concerned that the proposed development of the airport will substantially increase flight training circuits over Lismore and its regions. ‘We do not want Lismore to become a pilot training hub with the consequent loss of peace in our homes and clean air in our gardens.’

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Apart from the noise issue, surely there are safety issues. Flight training over residential areas seems inherently risky. It’s training, right. So learners. Seems to me that there should be training flights where there is absolutely no risk to the public. There are plenty of open spaces round the airport without having to fly over the town.

  2. Lismore is a city , cities have aircraft. Personally I don’t believe the noise is any worse than the years before.
    Don’t stop the Lismore airport from having training pilots fly in . Maybe we could put a curfew for early mornings and late nights on weekdays and allow night flying/landings on weekends within reasonable time frames .

    Training flights brings revenue for the airport and increases business whether from fees for landing , maintenance and stop overs .
    We are a regional city and if want Lismore to go head and thrive we need to allow these sort of things to go ahead and stop stifling growth .

    • happy noisy landings, captain, but the locals are not taken seriously! Was there ever consultation? As an ex instructor, I know the pros and cons of flying training. noise and scared residents. I have trained in different countries and always have been open to locals’ fears. Whats is being done in Lismore and why passing the buck?

  3. Thank you for this important publication about aircraft noise over Lismore and surrounding regions.
    We leave in Wadeville and we are very negatively impacted by the circuit training. This is a rural area with lots of wildlife around and we love the peace
    and quiet. Now we have low flying noisy planes circling over our house and gardens and the plane crosses 3 times before its flies back to Lismore. Than the next one comes. The local council has done nothing to address the issue.
    There is plenty of open area where there is less population affected from aircraft noise.

  4. Imagine you are ill in your bed after being in LBH for over a month.
    Then – a huge, silver, very noisy, twin-engine plane roars directly over your house x11 (eleven) times at low level on “circuit training” around Lismore Airport.
    [It apparently is using using Robinsons Lookout as a “pivot” – before flying back to Queensland.]
    Would you consider this un-thinking and noxious act just a tiny bit excessive for a residential area ?
    It seems Lismore Council’s much-spruiked ‘noise guidelines’ on pilot-training are blatantly being flouted on a regular basis.

  5. Get me outa here. Can’t disclose your name hey. You are obviously not in the flight path. 16 passes over my house before 10am on a Sunday morning and flights over my house after 11pm. I do shift work and need to sleep through the day. Impossible. Preparing to sue.

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