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Minister rebuffs Bankstown masterplan

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 16, 2011
Bankstown from the air. (Paul Sadler)

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has rejected Bankstown Airport’s 2010 draft masterplan, citing insufficient community information about its plans.

“In its proposed master plan, Bankstown Airport sought approval for up to 32 passenger flights a day,” Minister Albanese said on February 16.

“This would be a significant change given the airport does not have any passenger flights at present.”

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The Minister said airport operator Sydney Metro Airport Bankstown now has to develop and submit a new draft masterplan “following proper public consultation”. In the meantime the airport’s existing masterplan remains in effect.

The airport now says it will review its options following the Minister’s decision.

“We do not concur with the Minister’s view that we did not adequately consult with the community, as we consider that we have set a high benchmark in terms of airport community consultation since the airport was privatised,” said Sydney Metro Airport Bankstown CEO Colin Grove.

“Specifically we consider we exceeded the Airports Act 1996 Regulations regarding community consultation in relation to the masterplan. The airport received 245 submissions from the public, which is evidence of an effective consultation process and we adjusted the draft masterplan significantly as result of the consultation process.”

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As for the issue of passenger services, Grove noted “The Minister contends that the inclusion of a proposal for 32 scheduled passenger movements per day is a significant change to the airport’s operations.  We disagree with the Minister’s contention, as the proposal is an extension of the standing approvals from the master plan 2005, for 12 daily movements by Code 3C aircraft.  To date a commercial operator has not sought to take up this opportunity.

“The refused 2010 draft masterplan clearly states that passenger services is a mid to long term objective likely to start at 16 movement per day progressing to a maximum of 32  movements per day in aircraft smaller than code 3C.  Following the consultation process we revised the number of passengers based on smaller aircraft type and demonstrated that if passenger services were to be implemented the impact of this activity would be satisfactorily accommodated within the current airport facilities.”

Grove noted the proposed RPT movements would comprise only 2.5 per cent of total annual airport movements.

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2 Comments

  • KERRY GNADEN

    says:

    I for one find Bankstown Airport Ltd (BAL) unable to manage the general operations of Bankstown Airport that exists today let alone introducing 32 RPT services on top of current usage. Whilst Mr Grove states that the airport has set a high standard of consultation with the resident stakeholders, much of that consultation has been ignored. The former CEO, Mr Ellis, managed to turn the airport into an expensive and divided operation upsetting all airport stakeholders, introduced a large freight hub which has increased noise in the area, especially at night, and increased helicopter operations which have irritated and annoyed local residents, all without any proprer consultation. Helicopter operators have generally behaved in an anti community way by ignoring proper flight plans on departure and circuit operations of which BAL seem incapable of administrating, or chooses to ignore. There have been approaches made by the local federal member concerning this, yet still the helicopter “cowboys” continue to abuse the system. The airport also closed off Tower Rd that connects the south western side of the airport with the northern side, with little if any consultation with the airport stakeholders or community that use the road. Many businesses in Georges Hall complained loudly about the effect it was having on their trade, but were ignored. Only after a considerable length of time and pressure did the airport re-open the road on a “limited 3 month trial basis”. The fate of the road is still very unclear. Introducing RPT services into Bankstown airport would increase noise, car movements, and impact students etc in the airport environs. BAL couldn’t even manage to re-locate the Bankstown Aviation Museum to Camden Airport as it wanted the land it occupied for development. Mr Grove states only 2.5% of total annual movements would be from RPT services, but each movement would have between 30 to 70 passengers, ranging from turbo props such as ATR42, Dash8-400 and jet aircraft such as the Fokker F100, all of which are very noisy. That adds considerable traffic to the area which is not designed to cope with that number of extra vehicles, and where would they park at the airport. The area is just suburban streets! The terminal area is quite small, and has very limited parking area available. There is no mention about airpot curfews for these operations. Bankstown airport should not be expanded, but be left to be the only real general aviation airport in the Sydney basin.

  • Mark

    says:

    Completely agree with Kerry. BAL could not give a stuff about operators. Just recently i was approached by 2 people wanting to put a new GA Simulator at Bankstown. I was told BAL want to charge them $100k a year in rent for a hangar. They decided to get a factory unit in Birch Dr for $30k per year and start the business there. BAL are just driving businesses off the airport and leaving hangars un leased. The amount of for lease signs that are up around the place is amazing. Parking charges have gone up and now movement charges are going up to. Take Camden for example, they are planning on charging operators for a movement now. So if you take off you will be charged and when you come back the next day you will be charged. Effectively charging you double as you are currently charged per landing. The largest problem at Bankstown is that the operators do not get together and form one large group. This has been a problem in GA for a long time. Even when CASA make changes to flight training everyone just sits there and accepts it rather than doing something about it. BAL also refuse to correctly mark the airport’s taxiways. Class D has been introduced and all they did was put one or 2 movement signs up. They refuse to mark the airport with adequate signage. Just look at YSTW signage as an example and compare it to BK.

    It is just a disgrace and if it continues we will lose Bankstown airport altogether to development which I’m sure is the BAL master plan behind closed doors.

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