Turquoise Coast Regional Airport

PROPOSED TURQUOISE COAST REGIONAL AIRPORT

Location: Jurien Bay

Applicant: Shire of Dandaragan

File Path: Business Classification Scheme / Land Use and

Planning / Planning / Strategic Plans

Disclosure of Interest: None

Date: 16 June 2014

Author:  Manager Planning

Signature of Author:

Senior Officer:  Chief Executive Officer

Signature of Senior Officer:

Turquoise Coast Regional Airport

PROPOSAL

For Council to receive and publically advertise the master plan for the proposed Turquoise Coast Regional Airport.

BACKGROUND

The preparation of the master plan for the proposed Turquoise Coast Regional Airport has undergone the following process.

Council successfully made an application to the Department of Transport for a grant under the Regional Airports Development Scheme.

Expressions of interest to undertake the study closed on 9 October 2012. Council resolved to appoint Rehbein at the Ordinary Meeting of 22 November 2012.

An inception meeting was held 15 January 2013 and an inspection carried out of several possible sites.

A second meeting with respect of the draft study took place on 20 March 2013.

The draft document was presented to the Council Forum on 10 April 2013 and discussion took place in regard to the priorities as seen by Council.

Following discussion by Council the indication was that Council preferred Site 1 being the existing Jurien Bay Airstrip for the preparation of the Master Plan as the most suitable location for the development of the Turquoise Coast Regional Airport to serve Jurien Bay and surrounding areas, for the short to medium term.

The decision of Council at the Ordinary Meeting held 18 April 2013 was as follows:

In view of the Evaluation Criteria and the Recommendations contained in the Turquoise Coast Regional Airport Site Assessment prepared by Rehbein, that Council advertise all five proposed sites inviting submissions prior to the preparation of a Master Plan and that Council finalise a preferred option following the consultation process.

A summary document of the draft report was mailed out on 7 June 2013 to various ratepayers and government organisations.

Subsequently a public information forum was held on 11 July 2013 at which 10 members of the public attended plus several Councillors and Staff. The interest shown by the public was disappointing. Following the closure of the period for receiving of submissions, 13 submissions were received.

A copy of the submissions received was also forwarded to Rehbein and their comments were as follows:

The decision on which site Council prefers is entirely its prerogative, and given the long duration which may eventuate between an alternative site is required, then it may make sense to endorse a continuation of the status quo at this stage.

However from a planning perspective given that:

1. Site 1 is in reality limited in its ultimate capability, this would seem to suggest public support for progressing the detail around Site 2 for incorporation into necessary planning schemes to protect the site in the long term, especially against encroachment from incompatible surrounding land uses.

2. Site 1 will never be capable of accommodating some types of potential aviation operations, therefore it cannot be guaranteed to adequately serve the intended function of the Turquoise Coast Regional Airport indefinitely; and

3. Site 2 is the only technically superior site to the existing Jurien Bay Airstrip and the only one that is likely to be developable at reasonable cost.

From a planning perspective, it is suggested that it would be highly imprudent not to safeguard a possible airport at Site 2 at some time (potentially 20+ years) in the future. If this option isn’t preserved, then the Shire’s options for a future airport if and when the current facility eventually becomes inadequate for the required operations and/or unacceptable from an amenity impact perspective, are likely to be limited to non-existent.

The Council decision of 28 November 2013 was as follows:

That Council adopt Site 2 – Location 10600, Corner of Munbinea Road and Jurien Road as its preferred location for the preparation of a Master Plan for the Turquoise Coast Regional Airport.

A presentation of the draft Master-plan was given to Councillors at the 22 May 2014 Council Forum.

After considering comments from Councillors and staff, Rehbien have submitted the final draft of the report for Council.

Based on comments received Rehbien have made the following recommendations for inclusion into the Master-plan.

 

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8.0 RECOMMENDATIONS

The Rehbein Airport Consulting report Turquoise Coast Regional Airport Site Options Assessment, 16 April 2013 confirms the selected site at the corner of Jurien Road and Munbinea Road as the most suitable of the identified options for a future Turquoise Coast Regional Airport suitable to serve a range of general aviation and passenger transport operations.

The preferred site is considered to be technically superior to the alternatives against a range of aeronautical and non-aeronautical criteria applicable to a modern airport, as well as likely to be the most cost-effective to develop.

Due to the expected development timeframes for the airport, which are very long-term in nature, the exact mix of operational requirements that the airport must accommodate is not yet known, and may not be so for some years to come. The Master Plan for the Turquoise Coast Regional Airport must therefore incorporate flexibility to adapt appropriately to the reality of demand as it eventuates.

This Master Plan report sets out a framework for the physical development of the preferred site which allows flexibility for the implementation of facilities in a staged manner to suit the extent and nature of demand as it occurs. A number of safeguarding measures are identified in Section 7.0 and it is recommended that these be incorporated within subsequent revisions of the Local Planning Scheme to adequately preserve the capability of the selected site to accommodate the operations associated with the Turquoise Coast Regional Airport.

Nevertheless, there remain some potential issues with the site that have been identified during the process to date. These should be further investigated during the next stage of detailed planning and design to ensure they are adequately addressed. In particular, these include:

·         Potential hazards from bird populations which reportedly exist on and adjacent to the site. It is recommended that a detailed study be undertaken by a qualified ornithologist to identify likely bird behaviour, the potential risk that might be posed to aircraft operations at the airport, and appropriate mitigation and management measures to minimise this risk;

·         Appropriate physical investigation of the proposed development areas to confirm design requirements for infrastructure including aircraft pavements, access roads and development sites; and

·         Further detailed investigations into environmental attributes of the site, including flora and fauna, cultural and heritage considerations, stormwater flow and quality management to confirm the acceptability of development on the site.

It is inevitable that the Master Plan will need to be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure the detailed proposals continue to reflect the changing needs of the Turquoise Coast and this should include careful consideration prior to the initiation of any major development.

COMMENT

Negotiations will continue with the landowner of the proposed site as resolved by Council at the 28 November 2013 meeting.

Prior to Council adopting the final report, it is recommended that it be advertised to the general public.

CONSULTATION

·         Council

·         Chief Executive Officer

·         Deputy Chief Executive Officer

·         Manager Planning

·         Consultant

STATUTORY ENVIRONMENT

There are no statutory implications relevant to this item.

In the longer term it is hoped to show the adopted site on planning documents.

POLICY IMPLICATIONS

The decision of Council for the location of the proposed Turquoise Coast Regional Airport will lock Council into the process over the next five to 20 years.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Funding in the long term for the development of the Turquoise Coast Regional Airport will be the matter of further investigation and government funding.

STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS

·         Shire of Dandaragan Strategic Community Plan 2011 – 2021

5.15.1 GOAL NUMBER ONE: Strong Economic Base and Enabling Infrastructure

OBJECTIVE 2: Ensure timely provision of essential and strategic infrastructure to ensure investment and growth for the Shire is maximized.

CODE: G1-O2-A5

STRATEGIES: Assess feasibility and develop plan for Regional Airport via RADS application.

LINKS: SuperTowns Growth Plan

TIME FRAME: Medium

SCOPE: District

 PARTNERS: DoT

ATTACHMENTS

Circulated with the agenda is the following item relevant to this report:

·         Final version of Masterplan (Doc Id: 29603) (Marked 9.4.1)

VOTING REQUIREMENT

Simple majority

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION

 

That Council advertise the Master Plan for the proposed Turquoise Coast Regional Airport for a period of 21 days in local newspapers and on the Shire’s website.

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