Air show being organised


PENINSULA Aero Club is working to get its 2020 air show off the ground despite delays caused by a dispute over a permit with Mornington Peninsula Shire.

A last-minute settlement with the shire has sent club members metaphorically scrambling to get the show together on time.

Club president Jack Vevers late on Sunday predicted all the necessary paperwork would be completed this week and confirmed the show would go ahead as originally planned.

“We’re in the process of resurrecting it all,” Mr Vevers said of the air show which, earlier this month, he announced was cancelled.

The shire issued a news release on Friday saying the “much-loved air show will go ahead as planned” and that the shire’s CEO John baker and Mr Vevers had “vowed to work together” to make it happen.

“I’m thrilled the shire and the aero club have been able to work constructively to find a resolution,” the mayor David Gill said.

Watson Ward councillor Julie Morris said the shire’s support for the air show was “never in question, it is an iconic event that we always wanted to see succeed”.

While the Sunday 8 March air show has been cleared for take-off, the aero club and shire still face a bumpy ride over the requirement for an airfield master plan and permits for businesses operating there.

Drawings show land in what is regarded as the airfield precinct as having several owners and coming under varying zonings.

The air show permit is separate from the master plan and business permits required by the shire in the wake of an investigation by a queen’s counsel.

Further confirmation that the air show was back on track came via Mr Vevers telling the Australian Flying website that the club had “14 months of work to do in six months”. “We can fix it, even if we have to go like hell.”

Mr Vevers announced the air show had been cancelled when the shire said it needed a permit, the same as other major events in the shire.

He had wanted the shire to accept a secondary consent application as in the past: “We normally just write to the council and fill in a form which gives us a period to vary our permit so we can run the air show – say, seven days. It’s never been an issue before.”

On Sunday Mr Vevers was confident the question of air show permits could be “sorted out in the longer term”.

He said other municipalities with airfields had offered to stage the air show but said Peninsula Aero Club’s committee wanted it kept on the peninsula as it benefitted so many charities and community groups.

Mr Vevers said the air show had a “halo effect”, with many of its thousands of spectators later returning to enjoy other attractions on the peninsula.

First published in the Western Port News – 28 August 2019


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