Future-proofing for Massie Aerodrome
AN UPGRADE of Massie Aerodrome that would allow it to cater to significantly larger aircraft is being floated as a means to protect its long-term viability.
Southern Downs Regional Council is deliberating whether to apply to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to upgrade the facility from a 2C rating to a 3C rating.
Aerodrome steering committee member Kelvin Hutchinson said the difference between a 2C rating and 3C rating was the size of aircraft permitted to operate.
"A 2C rating allows for general aircraft to operate," he said. "A 3C rating would allow for Dash 8 aircraft to operate - as an example, Wellcamp Airport has Dash 8 aircraft operating."
Mr Hutchinson said the potential application to upgrade the rating was simply forward planning for the future.
"Council is attempting to make sure the aerodrome is useable in 50 to 100 years," Mr Hutchinson said.
"It's forward thinking.
"It's got nothing to do with the short term because we don't have the market to use an aerodrome of that size now, but we could do in 20, 50, 100 years.
"If people keep moving to the region and Brisbane keeps expanding, there could be the demand for a larger aerodrome and that's what council wants to plan for and protect themselves for, in the event the demand is there."
Council acting chief executive officer David Tuxford said no decision had been made yet.
"There has been some preliminary discussion around the Civil Aviation Safety Authority rating however there has been no decision from council on this," Mr Tuxford said.
"Depending on council's decision, the process for upgrading Massie Aerodrome is that an application is made with CASA and then assessed and approved by CASA.
"The upgrade, if completed, would allow the facility to cater for larger aircraft."