A SCHEDULED five-day hearing at the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal may help clear the air over the ongoing operations of the Tyabb airfield.
The hearing began on Monday (28 February) and follows an application by Peninsula Aero Club (PAC) and Westernport Airfield seeking declarations from VCAT clarifying their rights.
In a statement last July, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council said, “it has been agreed that PAC’s VCAT application for a declaration will provide clarity about the ongoing operation of the airport, thereby providing certainty for the airport operators, businesses and the community” (“Airfield, shire in permit formation” The News 3/8/21).
It stated that previous efforts to end confusion about PAC’s permits “have created misunderstandings and frustration for the local community”.
One year earlier, the aero club was warning that actions being taken by the shire, including issuing a stop work order, would “strangle airport operations”.
As part of the sometimes bitter dispute over the airfield permits, the shire was last year ordered to pay $32,000 to PAC for costs incurred (“Shire’s $32,000 payout to aero club” The News 23/2/21).
This week’s hearing basically picks up where that hearing ended, with subjects under dispute including what constitutes ”existing use rights”; is it an airfield or airport; use of the east-west runway; night flying; use by helicopters other than those acting in an “emergency” role; and pilot training.