Runway plan scrapped

Plans to extend Kyneton Airfield’s main runway to the south for fixed-wing aircraft have been scrapped in the latest draft master plan for the site.
The move intended to facilitate aerial firefighting operations, as cited in the abandoned 2016 draft master plan, but early investigations met with disinterest from potential users and exposed problematic positioning.
The Country Fire Authority has stated it would not use the site as nearby airfields were better suited and To20 Aviation Consultants’ Tim Gill advised Emergency Management Victoria had “no desire to operate out of Kyneton”.
Further consultation with Coliban Water revealed a runway extension to the south would cross both a sewer rising and discharge to the Campaspe River. Concern was also raised over the proximity to the Calder Freeway.
The Draft Kyneton Airfield Master Plan 2019 offers direction for several other projects.
Among the projects is reference to a ‘general purpose business office building and tourism hub’, extension of the taxiway, sealing works, more parking and rezoning council-acquired land at 8 Rawson Place to allow for construction of 10-12 additional privately owned aircraft storage hangars.
Kyneton Aero Club president Warren Canning said the 2019 draft master plan was “very different to what had been released in 2016” and referred to it as a “more balanced document”.
“It provides an opportunity to maximise benefits to the community in economical, commercial and tourism sense,” he said.
Mr Canning said there was potential for more on-site aircraft maintenance, creating economic opportunities and capturing an existing market without increasing aircraft movements.
The club has indicated there would be sufficient future demand to almost double its current annual aircraft movements (from 5110 to 10,000) if supporting infrastructure was available to aircraft operators.
The airfield includes 34 privately owned hangars on the council land that house about 60 aircraft and there is a waiting list of about 20 to lease sites for a hangar permit.
While several opportunities have been highlighted in the plan, Macedon Ranges Residents Association secretary Christine Pruneau said there were still echoes of the 2016 report, which attracted 179 submissions and was met with varying degrees of objections.
Ms Pruneau said unresolved issues related to the council’s acquisition of 8 Rawson Place and operation of private hangars on council land.
“Macedon Ranges Shire Council needs to sort out all governance and administrative issues before they allow any more hangars,” she said.
“The total inappropriateness of increased air activity around the site has been totally swept under the rug. This is a plan to nowhere!”
The council has endorsed the 2019 Draft Kyneton Airfield Master Plan for public consultation for a six-week period. Feedback will be considered at its October 23 ordinary meeting.

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