|A Jet landing on Runway 18
just clears our Rooftops at
That's Aboriginal for
Runway End Safety Zone
Council will tell you that this
Airport has been carefully planned and developed with
full public consultation all along the way until reaching its present Prize Winning position on
the verge of achieving International status.
Nothing could be further from the truth -- But if you repeat a lie often enough, people will
accept it as FACT.
The FACT is
"This Airport would have to be a Classic example of how NOT to develop an airport".
Another FACT is
Aircraft Noise IS a Problem even if you pay $75,000 for somebody to report otherwise.
Here then is The TRUE
VERSION of this Airport's History
I first discovered Marcoola in JANUARY 1965, over 36 years ago. It was a paradise with no
aircraft noise to interrupt the sound of the sea.
Back then, an Aircraft meant a Glider of which there was a Club at the Landing Field
We spent every holiday in the Marcoola camping reserve until it was closed in 1975 at which
time we purchased land and built our holiday house.
In 1979 we moved here permanently and our holiday house became our home.
I have now lived at the northern end of runway 18/36 for the past 22 years.
I was here before the Flying Schools or The Jets and before our Town became part of a
Runway End Safety Zone (That should be DANGER Zone) since it's the area most prone to
Crashes, and before Noise became a problem.
Early History and HIGH EXPECTATIONS
in the Early Days:
Pacific Paradise Development Pty. Ltd. built the airstrip in early 1959 in connection with the
development of the town of Pacific Paradise.
Later, the Maroochy Shire Council took interest in the airstrip, which the State and Federal
Governments decided to develop as the Maroochy Airport and it was officially opened as such
on 12th. August 1961
Two years prior to the opening the whole area had been Perpetual Swamp.
This development at a cost of $224,000 was hailed by Mr. D. A. Low who was then shire
chairman as ushering in a new era for fruit and vegetable industry and a magnificent boost to
the tourist industry.
My parents were actually guests on the inaugural flight from Brisbane to Maroochy.
Completion of the coastal highway between Caloundra and Noosa had been expected to
assure the success of the subsequent air services, but this was not to be.
Queensland Airlines (later taken over by Ansett) and WesternAir Navigation Pty Ltd started
AND CANCELED regular services to Maroochy because of a lack of patronage.
On Sunday 2nd. July 1967, the Marcoola
Beach Progress Association was formed with a
membership of 40 local residents who all believed the politicians promises of soon to come;
Bus services, Sewerage and an East/West Runway.
That was when the airport was home to the Glider Club and noise was not a problem.
By 1970 the Airport had turned
into what was then described by the Maroochy shire chairman
Cr. E. O. DeVere as a BIT OF A WHITE ELEPHANT, but Council spent more money
extending the northern end of runway 18/36 by an extra 450 ft.
Ironically it was a company called East-West Airlines, which heralded in the new era for the
aerodrome by commencing a weekly direct flight to Sydney in December 1970
A year later, East-West was operating
a bi-weekly service to Sydney on Wednesdays and
Saturdays and Council budgeted a further $29.000 to extend the 18/36 runway a further
1000ft to the north. This made a total strip length of 5500 feet, which was then capable of
handling a fully loaded Fokker Friendship with 44 passengers on board.
About this time - The Glider club was replaced by an Aero Club.
By that time aircraft traffic had risen to about 20 a week, but nobody ever imagined the place
would ever change or develop like the Gold Coast and Noise was still NOT A PROBLEM.
In the late 70's, East-West
were crowded out by Air NSW and Ansett, and the numbers of
Fokker Friendship services escalated
We now also had daily Metro Commuter Services to Brisbane and for the first time we
became aware of the noise from these aircraft.
In the early 80's we saw the first
of the Flying Schools, which Council considered to be a
nice clean non-pollutant industry and a great boon for the community.
Obviously at that time, never considering noise as being a pollutant.
The flying schools of course maintain that "they were here first", and
"We should not have built our homes near the airport if we couldn't take a bit of noise"
In 1982 unbeknown to us - Council
commissioned one of the first Master Plans to investigate
the introduction of the F28 Jet services to the Airport. It was carried out by G H & D
This was the TURNING POINT for this Airport.
This was when the Council made its GREATEST MISTAKE.
And there was NO COMMUNITY CONSULTATION
and the report itself was NEVER released to the public.
It gave the Council 2 options;
1. Upgrade the 18/36 runway for $9.8M or
2. Construct the 13/31 Runway (And all its associated infrastructure, terminal,
parking etc.) for $10.3M.
The bottom line of which stated that the East/West runway was inevitable at sometime
in the future. And they recommended construction of 13/31 as the preferred option.
Unfortunately for us ALL, Council
made the wrong decision and saved a whole ½M$
History has now proved how this short term SAVING has been the root cause of all the
The cost of a Feasibility Study alone is now TWICE the extra cost it would have been
to construct the whole project back in 1983.
And so, on 9th. April 1984 -- The
WHISPER JETs were upon us.
Although the F28s were probably the noisiest aircraft in the sky at that time, our civic leaders
tried to CON us into accepting these MONSTERS by renaming these NOISE MAKERS .......
From here on, conditions deteriorated
rapidly for the local residents around the airport.
The combination of ever increasing Whisper Jet services and the growth of the Flying
Schools saw the end of our Peace and Quiet.
NOISE HAD BECOME A PROBLEM
And we were repeatedly told -- "It was all our own fault."-- "The airport was here first." -- "We
should never have built here." -- "We have no right to complain" and "If we don't like it MOVE!"
of being CAREFULLY PLANNED – This Airport has just GROWN in the middle
of our residential area like a MALIGNANT CANCER
and all the PLANNED DEVELOPMENT since 1983 has been in the WRONG DIRECTION because of that FATAL DECISION to upgrade 18/36
(Incidentally - I could never
understand why they called it the Tourist INDUSTRY?
It must be the ONLY Industry that DOESN'T ACTUALLY PRODUCE Anything)
However – While our Council bends over backwards to persuade every Airline Company they
can find to fly into Maroochy Airport
This parasitic Tourist Industry concentrates on luring these unsuspecting visitors here and
packing them into their highly priced, self contained Resorts with their carefully
landscaped Nature Walks and Echo-Systems so they never get to see the degradation of our
once-beautiful coastline. All for the purpose of fleecing them for every cent they can get.
|The most HATED
One of Sunstates SHORTS Roars over
our Roof Tops to land on Runway 18
We have had 2 and sometimes 3 of these
MONSTERS here at once doing Circuit Training for 3 hours or more at a time (That's One landing every MINUTE - for 3 hours at a time)
No wonder we HATE them!!!!
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