Article supplied by AOPA
The future of Tenterfield Airport in New South Wales is at risk with news that the Tenterfield Shire Council is seeking a sell off of the community airport asset, with non-aviation property developers said to be circling.
Council CEO Daryl Buckingham, who has been in the job for less than 12 months, is said to have given clear instructions to the Council’s Development Manager Bruce Mills to scope out all saleable assets with the community airport at the top of the list.
Located 6km north west of the township of Tenterfield, the community airport was purchased by Council in 1967 and has been an invaluable base of operations for local aerial agriculture, aerial firefighting and emergency services. The airfield is also used for local business and recreational private aviation. The grass runway is approx 1300m in length.“Tenterfield is just another example in a growing list of airport sites that are facing the the real threat of sell-off, in response to spiraling local council debts nationwide – this is a crisis in the making, ” Benjamin Morgan, AOPA Australia CEO. “Such outcomes nationwide are serving to further displace aviation through the introduction of uncontrolled commercial fees and charges, undermining the viability of aviation services throughout regional Australia, “When privatised owners realise there is little money to be made from charging user fees, the very next thing they do is start redeveloping the sites for non-aviation use, “AOPA Australia is reaching out to the Councillors and Management of the Tenterfield Shire Council seeking an opportunity to discuss this important situation, “Our association is encouraging the Council to reject any proposal to sell-off this invaluable community asset, highlighting the important and ongoing contribution the airfield makes to the safety, security and amenity of the local ratepayers and region,” he said.