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Letter to A Cobbitty Resident

24 March 2010
Dear Cobbitty Resident,

Camden Airport Community Engagement

Thank you for your letter dated 15 March regarding Camden Airport and our engagement with the community in relation to noise issues.

It was particularly useful meeting with you and the other Camden Watch members at Pat Farmer’s office and hearing your issues in relation to operations at our Airport. I appreciate the sentiments raised in your letter to me and to the Editor of the Camden Advertiser and I would like to provide you more information on some of the issues you raised:

  • The Camden Airport Preliminary Draft Master Plan and the Final Draft Airport Master Plan submitted the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government has been developed by our company to meet the requirements of the Airports Act 1996. We did not ‘lodge a submission’ but rather wrote the Preliminary Draft Plan and then extensively modified it to ensure that the Final Draft Airport Master Plan took into account your concerns and other submissions received.
  • In the Final Draft Airport Master Plan we have committed to a Community Consultative Forum, a Planning Coordination Forum with the Council and State Government, a Noise Management Plan and a variety of other activities (including designating a new helicopter training area) to further engage with the community and to look for solutions to noise issues. We cannot implement these and recruit an independent Chairperson until the Final Draft Airport Master Plan is approved and the Minister endorses our approach. In the interim, I would be more than happy to have Camden Airport issues discussed at meetings facilitated by Pat Farmer in his offices.
  • The engagement of CASA and AsA in the management of noise at Camden Airport is absolutely critical. Our company, Camden Airport Limited, is a private commercial entity with no regulatory or operational control over aircraft in flight or the noise generated by aircraft engines. We want to seek solutions to perceived or real noise issues but we cannot implement changes to the operating procedures to aircraft inflight. Only CASA or AsA can do that.|
  • The Draft Airport Master Plan for Camden Airport does not seek to increase land available for industrial and commercial activities. In fact it reduces the range of 2 commercial activities that can be undertaken at the Airport and dedicates more land to low impact small aviation activities. We have listened to issues raised by the community and removed a number of development options which were not compatible with the rural nature of the region.
  • The Draft Master Plan does include a forecast increase in aircraft movements. We are obliged by the Airports Act 1996 to include realistic air traffic forecasts and because of the continued growth of Sydney, we believe demand for aviation activity at Camden will increase. We have no option but to forecast this as accurately as we can.

We will continue to work with the community to mitigate the impact of the Airport on the surrounding community. We need the Minister to approve the Draft Airport Master Plan so that we can get on with establishing the important Consultative Forums and make changes to the operating layout of the Airport. The Shareholders of the Airport are committed to an ongoing program of consultation and I am confident that with time and Federal Government commitment, we can reduce some of the current problems.

Kim Ellis
Chief Executive Officer

cc. The Editor, Camden Advertiser



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