Common questions
The future of Kempsey Airport

Is the airport being sold to foreign ownership?

The development application assessment process, which applies to the current DA for expanding the College, does not consider issues of land ownership. Issues regarding leasing or purchasing the land that the airport operates on are the subject of commercial negotiations and will potentially be considered as part of the MoU or lease negotiations with any tenants at the Aviation Business Park.

There is no proposal being considered to sell the Airport.

Will the expanded flying school result in holding patterns of aircraft waiting to use the runway?

Training aircraft are subject to the same standard flight circuit procedures that apply to all aircraft prior to landing as determined by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

In accordance with CASA requirements, there is no need for aircraft to enter into holding patterns about the airport.

How will emergency services access be maintained under the expansion plans?

The Airport must operate as a publicly accessible airport and therefore available for emergency access.

The current DA for expansion of the Pilot Training facility is not required to outline access for emergency aircraft.

Consultation with Airport users including the RFS and Emergency Services occurs on a regular basis and to date no access issues have been reported to Council.

Will the Airport still be accessible by other users once the College is at maximum capacity?

Kempsey Airport is currently significantly underutilised for the purpose for which it was constructed and upgraded. Recreational aviators will have normal access to the airport. Normal flight procedures will apply, as is currently the case.

Will an independent noise assessment be carried out before the expansion of the College?

As part of the negotiations to revise the Memorandum of Understanding between Council and the College, prior to the proposed expansion, a Fly Neighbourly Agreement will be prepared, that will be based on an independent assessment of noise.

How do the community have a say?

Council has proactively sought to attract aviation businesses to establish their operations at Kempsey Airport following significant community representation that the Airport should remain viable.

Submissions regarding the currently proposed DA form part of the Joint Regional Planning Panel process and assessment of the DA.

Separate to any approved Development Applications in the Aviation Business Park, no construction could commence until Council has formal agreements in place which may include lease, MoU or Fly Neighbourly Agreements. Development of the Fly Neighbourly Agreement will require significant community engagement. Any MoU would have to be endorsed by the Council.