Concerns over noise, disturbance at Katoomba Airfield

Blackheath meeting
Blackheath meeting

Opposition to plans for helicopter flights at Katoomba Airfield is growing.

A meeting at Blackheath last week heard of locals' concerns about noise and disturbance to wildlife.

Residents are also upset that the Department of Industry, which awarded the three-year licence to Derek and Floyd Larsen last year, has not consulted with the community.

Airfield plans

Airfield plans

A department spokesman said the licence was awarded before the start of the current community engagement strategy, but "all notifications required at the time of the granting of the licence were complied with".

He said any grant of a further tenure, such as a longer term lease, would require full community consultation.

"This includes the development of a community engagement plan, website notification of proposed grant of lease, as well as planned community engagement activities."

The Larsens, residents of Blackheath, attended last week's meeting and distributed flyers but did not speak.

Mrs Larsen asked the Gazette to direct people to their website, www.flyblue.com.au, for more information.

"It goes a long way in answering recurring questions, highlights the true facts about what we will and will not be doing at the airfield as well as an opportunity for anyone who'd like to ask further questions and/or make comments to do so directly via the feedback form," she said.

Joan Crawley, from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society, told the meeting the society was worried about the impact of helicopter flights on the national park which completely surrounds the airfield.

Stephen Cannings, from the Katoomba Airfield Community Group (KACG), said it was unclear how many helicopter flights were planned.

The KACG, made up of residents and small business from Medlow Bath and Katoomba, will now set up a new Blackheath group to give that town's residents a voice in the campaign.