It has been confirmed that Flight Training Adelaide will put plans on hold for a permanent flight training at the Port Lincoln Airport until later this year.
It comes after FTA advised the Lower Eyre District Council that their operational trial at the Port Lincoln Airport exceeded their expectations and were surprised at the negative reaction from a small proportion of the local community.
However, the majority of the Port Lincoln community and the Lower Eyre have shown great support of the FTA training initiative.
With many factors contributing, FTA in conjunction with the DCLEP have decided it is best to put the current development application on hold and limit its activity in Port Lincoln to its current 6 aircrafts and 40 students, with possible plans to review the position at the end OF October.
Mayor Jo‐Anne Quigley says that the District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula respects the right of Flight Training Adelaide to put on hold their development application for a permanent flight training facility at Port Lincoln Airport.
“The Council also respects that flight training from the Port Lincoln Airport is not a concept that is supported by some local residents, and welcomes the news that FTA wish to work with the wider community of Port Lincoln and the southern Eyre Peninsula in the development of any future concept for flight training at the airport.
“FTA have said that such a development will not occur without the majority support of the local community and stakeholders.” Said Quigley.
Further observations of the movement were made by Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula CEO Dion Doward who noted that International students injected $32 billion into Australia’s economy last financial year, and the FTA project would offer the Eyre Peninsula a slice of that pie.
Dorward highlighted that FTA would provide growth and diversity to the local economy, boost population, create new job opportunities and increase the sustainability of one of the region’s most crucial assets, the Port Lincoln Airport.
However, the local minority group who have proven to be against the initiative have projected strong messages implying FTA is not welcome here on the Lower Eyre Peninsula, which could be seen as robbing the region of the opportunity for now.
The negative response was in light of devaluing properties near the airport, air pollution, noise disruptions, the nearby school whom of which have children with autism and many more valid arguments that would see a massive inconvenience to those living close to the airport.
Some locals have voiced that the large number of extra planes and noise disruption in the area would cause significant impacts and deeply affect them.
Mayor Quigley says until FTA next reviews its temporary operation from Port Lincoln in October 2019, the Council will continue to work with FTA in refining weekend flight times, circuit and navigational paths to accommodate as best as possible for the concerns of local residents who have not supported flight training.