TAKING FLIGHT: An expanded Defence Force cadet program is set to take place at Massie Aerodrome.
TAKING FLIGHT: An expanded Defence Force cadet program is set to take place at Massie Aerodrome. Contributed

Cadets to take off at Massie

MASSIE Aerodrome is set to be home to an Australian Defence Force expansion, with the ADF looking to expand its cadets program at the facility.

The Daily News understands the ADF has chosen two sites - Warwick and Bathurst - to expand their cadet program.

The expansion would see the hub used by an extra 20 to 30 cadets to take their aviation skills to the next level.

While they would not live in Warwick, the cadets - from all over the state - would come to Warwick each school holiday period to undergo their training.

When they finish for that holiday period they would go back to their home towns and would be a part of their local squadron.

Southern Downs Regional Council acting chief executive officer David Tuxford said council minutes confirmed discussions would take place in regards to an ADF expansion at the aerodrome.

"As per the minutes of the Aerodrome Advisory Group (AAG), contained in the council November meeting agenda, the action for this item states that council's manager for planning and development and the Australian Defence Force commence meetings together," Mr Tuxford said.

"This will be to discuss the requirements of the Defence Force and the SDRC to progress future plans for the Defence Force.

"These discussions will involve plans to build a new hangar and living accommodation as part of the Stage 3 development at the aerodrome.

"These would take place so Defence can in turn lobby Canberra as soon as possible for funding.

"Council is not able to speculate on the outcomes of this matter and as outlined in the November meeting agenda council has participated in its first official Aerodrome Advisory Group meeting, so we have just started the discussion.

"Council does not have a timeframe as the discussions are just beginning."

Warwick Aero Club and Queensland Recreational Aircraft Association president Kelvin Hutchinson said he could not confirm the nature of the plans, but said he too was aware of a desire for the ADF to expand their operations out of Massie Aerodrome.

"ADF cadets have been using Warwick for a number of years and there are plans in place which would benefit the community," Mr Hutchinson said.

The November council agenda said the AAG was advised cadets would consider leaving if the runway 27 grass was closed.

Mr Tuxford said action had been carried out to ensure the cadets would not be lost.

"There is no intention to close runway 27 however council requires that operations occurring at the aerodromes do so in accordance with CASA regulations," he said.

"Council likes to see the aerodrome facilities being used as much as possible.

"The cadets are an important part of our aviation community and as such are key users of the Warwick aerodrome."



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