Fly Neighbourly Agreement for Kempsey Airport given go ahead

Fly neighbourly: A community survey, workshop and noise management plan will all form part of the agreement.

Fly neighbourly: A community survey, workshop and noise management plan will all form part of the agreement.

Kempsey Airport returned to the agenda at April’s council meeting, held at Smithtown on Tuesday, with two items heard. 

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The first item saw a proposal to proceed with a Fly Neighbourly Agreement, which will include a noise management plan, endorsed by councillors. 

A community survey and workshop will be part of the engagement to be undertaken in the coming months by Kempsey Shire Council to develop the agreement for all users of Kempsey Airport.

General manager David Rawlings said the agreement would bring together many of the details of the airport operations, including future operations of the Australian International Aviation College (AIAC) and the requirements of different authorities and regulators that council has to work with in operating an airport.

“It is intended to prepare a noise management plan which will form the basis of the Fly Neighbourly Agreement and allow for balanced consideration of all airport impacts and users,” Mr Rawlings said.

The purpose of the noise management plan is to gain a detailed understanding of the impact of noise on surrounding residents from aircraft operated by the AIAC and other aircraft operators.

This will help determine the appropriate number, frequency and duration of aircraft movements taking into account resident expectations and operational requirements of airport users.

Community engagement will form a significant part of the process, according to council, with a survey and independently facilitated workshops being some of the engagement tools proposed.

It is expected that an ongoing Airport Consultative Group involving community, council and airport users will be an outcome of the process.

“Conducting the community engagement, preparing the noise management plan and the subsequent Fly Neighbourly Agreement will require specialist consultants who bring a level of expertise and independence to the process,” Mr Rawlings said.

“At this stage it is proposed that it may take just over 12 months before the agreement is formally entered into but the resolution of council to proceed gives a clear direction on managing the airport use and involving the community.”

The Joint Regional Planning Panel will be advised of council’s resolution in reference to future consideration of the pending development application lodged by AIAC.

The second item saw council award the tender for the supply and installation of a new airport fuel system.

The installation of the fuel system will go ahead, but a different funding arrangement will have to be found after councillors voted against taking a loan from the Australian International Aviation College for the project.

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