Aspendale Coastline Now a Helicopter Drag Strip
Another Philip Island Grand Prix Weekend
GPO Box 1985
Canberra City ACT 2601
Re: Excessive and Concentrated
Helicopter Activity Over The Sensitive Coastline
I wish to express my concern for the significant
disregard for community which was displayed by hundreds of concentrated helicopter
flights this past weekend. This is not
an isolated problem but the 19th and 20th of October
exceeds all previous experience and continues to highlight an increasing issue
with the manner in which aircraft utilise the sensitive City of Kingston
Helicopters flying at 500 – 1500 feet over a
residential area which has a background noise level of around 50dB on a sunny
day (when people are out doors), are experienced as profoundly noisy events. The noise is of course worse if the aircraft
are lower than 1000 feet by virtue of airport arrival or departure. Hundreds of such events (as was the case this
past weekend) are unethical and inappropriate.
If this is how aircraft self manage in uncontrolled airspace then there
is an urgent need for control measures to restore decency to the manner in
which aircraft share our community.
A scenic coastline might be a good proposition for joy
flying but this same coastline has been defined as sensitive for community recreation
and an important area of high amenity for people who live and visit this area
of the City of Kingston. Members of the
community attracted to this coastline number in the many thousands, an
embarrassing contrast to the insignificant number of privileged individuals who
patronise helicopter joy flights, and the even smaller number of people who
make a living by chartering aircraft.
What makes this matter even more disturbing is that it’s
possible to distribute flights for lesser impact on the community.
To add to the impost, many of the aforementioned
helicopters were flying over a public event adjacent to the Peter Scullin
Reserve in Mordialloc.
Unsuspecting members of the public who referenced
Webtrak this weekend to gauge the problem might have been caused to think that
they were imaging the issue because most helicopters in this area do not use
transponders and do not appear on Webtrak.
So there is little opportunity for objective feedback from the
I can only speculate that the attraction for the
scores of helicopters this weekend was the Philip Island Grand Prix, but I
could be mistaken.
Below is a map showing flight path options for these helicopters. The most direct route and one which passes
over a large area of unpopulated green wedge and avoids the most densely
populated centres is shown in blue. The
preferred and problematic flight path is shown in brown. Paradoxically the brown flight path is
directly into one of the Moorabbin Airport approach routes (shown as a green
arrow) and involves flying nose to nose with approaching aircraft. Moreover much of the approaching air traffic
is fixed wing and therefore incompatible with the saturation of helicopter
Practically speaking the helicopters could take a
route approximated by either the brown or blue lines or anything in between. This would provided a corridor about 5km wide,
suited to dissipating some of the aircraft noise.
The small purple dot is where I experience the
problem. For some reason this location
has become a way point and influences flight paths to the extent that aircraft
funnel through a corridor which is literally only 100 metres wide. As such this small area can become a melting
pot of aviation noise.
Red dot: Moorabbin Airport
Purple dot: North Aspendale Beach/Mordialloc Creek area
(apparently an unofficial helicopter way point)
Green Arrow: Moorabbin Airport
I have raised issues in the past and I cannot
understand how flight activity which is patently unreasonable from a community
perspective is allowed to continue under thinly veiled notions of visual flight
rules and the uncontrolled nature of the Moorabbin Airport.
Deficits in the aviation model should not be
justification for the continuation of something which is clearly unethical.
Noise affected resident