Council increases community awareness of airport expansion

Media release - 23 February 2017

Kempsey Shire Council has resolved to undertake a community awareness campaign to improve understanding of the operations and approvals required for the expansion of the Australian International Aviation College (AIAC), at Kempsey Airport.

AIAC has lodged a Development Application for the construction of buildings and works related to the proposed expansion of the flight training College.

Mayor Liz Campbell explains that many in the community and those who attended this week’s Council meeting, were not aware that Council is not the decision maker for the Development Application.

“As Council is the owner of the site for a development valued at over $5 million the application is required to be decided on by the Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel.

“Council’s decision making is only relevant in the drafting and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which guides the terms of the land use and College operations,” Councillor Campbell advised.

Kempsey Council has an MOU in place for the College with a revised MOU addressing the operations of the proposed expanded flying school currently being negotiated.

It is anticipated that the terms of any revised MOU will reference a Noise Management Plan to be prepared for all Airport users. That Plan would be involve significant community consultation and deal specifically with the issue of aircraft noise and associated impacts on surrounding residents.

“This is certainly a complex matter and we’ve undertaken to work with the community more proactively so the decision making process, the operational logistics and also the full economic benefits of the expanded College are clear for everyone in the Macleay,” said Councillor Campbell.