THE Noise Management Plan for Busselton Regional Airport has been approved.
The Minister for the Environment Bill Marmion has signed off on the revised noise conditions for the airport and it has been greeted as good news by CEO Mike Archer for the progression of the airport towards international standards.
However, Mr Marmion removed any reference to flight training, which has left some uncertainty about that aspect of the airport.
While the Noise Management Plan can now be implemented, further negotiations will need to be taken with the Aero Club before flight training conditions can be finalised.
“The important thing is that the city can go ahead and implement the other important changes, e.g. approving more flights without Ministerial approval on every occasion,” Mr Archer said.
“It will enable the city to approve 12 non-conforming events without having to go through a full consultation process, up from the four that was recommended by the EPA.”
Mr Archer said the implementation of the Noise Management Plan paved the way for Busselton airport to start to progress towards an interstate and ultimately international standard and would enable narrow-bodied aircraft such as 737s and A320s, which each carry around 170 passengers, to use the airport.
He also said more Fly-in, Fly-out flights, could be accommodated, which would help the growth of Busselton and the South West.
While there was still a fair way to go for the airport to reach its full potential, the approval of the NMP was a start.
Mr Archer said he was comfortable that the city would continue to manage flight training, even though it was now a separate issue.
“I think we should be given some credit for how we handle it,” he said.
Mr Archer also pointed out how the city had received an unexpected $100,000 airport bonus for security screening from the Federal Government.
“This is another bit of good and positive news as it helps underwrite the costs.”