Warwick Aerodrome land to change hands
PLANS to secure a future at the flying facility are just about to touch down, as Southern Downs regional council sells off land at the Warwick Aerodrome.
The Warwick Gliding Club has reached an agreement with the council to purchase three blocks of land.
The blocks contain two large hangars and will help the club secure its future at the facility.
Warwick Gliding Club president Ivor Harris said the club had invested time and money into the aerodrome for 60 years.
"The motivation is to ensure our continued future at the Warwick Aerodrome,” he said.
"If we didn't buy it the council could have potentially have revoked the leases and sold the land to someone else.”
He said the sale of land was a strategic decision by the council to put a number of blocks at the Warwick Aerodrome on the market.
"It seems the council's long term intention is to realise the capital value of the aerodrome,” Mr Harris said.
Mayor Tracy Dobie was yesterday unavailable for comment on the council's plans in regards to the Warwick Aerodrome.
Air Force also to buy up
It is believed the Australian Air Force also plans to purchase a large block at the western end of the aerodrome for school holiday training camps.
Chief flying instructor for 200 Aviation Training Squadron Gliding (ATS) Tony Scarlett said the present hangar owned by the Air Force was "jam-packed full of gliders”.
"If the sale goes ahead we would have another hangar with more space.”
Mr Scarlett said the sale of land offered security for groups that used the facility.
"People were complaining about the leasing arrangements with the council,” he said.
"There was no guarantee the lease wouldn't go up and that was a bit of a worry.”
Up to 25 Army cadets from Queensland and interstate use the aerodrome for glider training.
Lectures are currently conducted at the Warwick Christian College but a new hangar for the aviation school would allow teaching to be conducted on site.
"If the weather turns bad you wouldn't have to trot them all the way back into town.”
Mr Scarlett said the council was also amending access to the Warwick Aerodrome by installing a new electronic gate, which users would need a pin number or key to access.
Controversy over the proposed construction of a new gliding strip at the aerodrome remains unresolved.
"Our position is unchanged and we would encourage the council to look at making the area where we currently operate into a designated gliding strip,” Mr Harris said.