Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Airport Planning Anger; CEO Denies Decision Made to Close Existing Runway

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Airport Planning Anger; CEO Denies Decision Made to Close Existing Runway

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Hoffman bill.hoffman@scnews.com.au

SUNSHINE Coast Airport has denied it had already determined to close the existing runway insisting that decision remained part of the master planning process, despite advice sent to stakeholders indicating that was the case.

Airport CEO Peter Pallot has reacted to criticism by the Sunshine Coast Regional Airport Tenants Association they had been excluded from a crucial planning meeting to be held in Brisbane today.

He said the event specifically related to off airport Regular Public Transport operations.

"This is being facilitated as a collective group in Brisbane to simplify the availability of off airport-based operators," Mr Pallot said.

He dismissed concern about the advice included in the invitation to attendees that the new runway would replace the old, saying that only referred to regular public transport jet services.

The issues have laid bare the extent of mistrust SCRATA's members have with the master planning process and their frustration at what they describe as a complete lack of genuine consultation.

SCRATA represents 18 airport businesses who collectively employ 410 staff.

They are furious to have been excluded from the Design Element Risk Workshop which airfield development manager Adrian Bannister in an email told those invited "it is very important that every airline and organisation likely to be involved operationally in the new runway at Sunshine Coast Airport attends this meeting in order for the risk workshop to be successful as part of the engagement with whole of industry on the project".

SCRATA members have failed to get a response to a request for a meeting they had hoped to hold on Monday this week with planning decision makers.

Spokesman Joe McAlinden said SCRATA had been publicly encouraged by Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson to robustly engage in the draft master planning process but still struggled to have emails answered or to access the information necessary to do so. …

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