Becker: Hovering ban makes chopper use 'impossible'

Mike Becker says the new rules exclude helicopters from using Kybong Airport altogether.
Mike Becker says the new rules exclude helicopters from using Kybong Airport altogether. Alistair Brightman

THE owner of a helicopter training school has criticised the new safety changes at Kybong Airport, saying it is now impossible for helicopters to use the site.

Becker Helicopters owner Captain Mike Becker said the ban on hovering was the same as stopping planes from taxiing.

"It's impossible for a helicopter, if it's going to land there, not to hover," he said.

"If it's upsetting residents who aren't at the airport because they were worried about helicopters flying over the top of them, that's got nothing to do with hovering does it?"

Having invested about $800,000 in purchasing 4ha at the site with the intention of moving some of his business there, the changes - which Capt Becker said his company was not consulted on - had left him wondering what to do now.

He said requests for an urgent meeting with the council had been turned down.

He also questioned the decision to allow residential development at the airport.

"You can't build a house in an industrial area," he said.

According to Capt Becker, the council had been made aware of incidents during a meeting in April 2016, and that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau recorded only seven incidents at the airport.

A Gympie Regional Council spokeswoman said the council was encouraging feedback from all members of the community through the airport draft master plan next week.

* Correction: the original article mistakenly quoted the amount Capt Becker spent on the land as $100,000.

Topics:  becker helicopters gympie gympie council kybong airport

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