Warnervale Airport (ALA = Aircraft Landing Area)

“There is  a long history of the Warnervale Airport and attached is a “Warnervale Airport Brief History” (the references are in the Bibliography). 

The key points are:

  • There is no Central Coast Airport as an Airport has never been approved.
  • Masterplan is just a drawing, a work of art, it has no standing under the Planning legislation.
  • The Minister for Transport has confirmed the runway is just a Landing Strip (see attached letter).Liability and not Viable – recommends sale of land“  quote from Feasibility Study (2013)
  • “Not the best use of land “ council study (2013)
  • Not supported by Newcastle Airport due to impact on catchment (Letter 2016);
  • Planning Minister announces Warnervale Airport Act to be retained (August 2017);
  • Motion passed by CC Councillors to ceased all work on Airport (November 2017)
  • Not Supported by Lake Macquarie Council, due to impact on residents (Letter 2018), 
  • Not compliant with CASA rules; (email 11/12/2018)
  • Noise from flights will affect 45,000 residents
  • No airport included in CC Regional Plan or CC Transport Plan.

The continued operation of the airport, is costing a lot of money and represents a substantial risk to council for no benefit;

  • Cumulative operating costs  of $2.4 million over the last 4 years;
  • Cost of land purchased for an airport is nearly, $20 million;
  • Capital costs for airport, fencing, earthworks, road works of $10 million;
  • Holding costs of $1.5 million per annum in interest and loss of rate income;
  • Consultants costs of $450,000.

All these costs are borne by council with no return to ratepayers. This wastage needs needs to be stopped.

Risk to council include:

  • Operation of the Airport is already in breach of Warnervale Airport Restrictions Act, with potential fines of up to $11,000 per movement. This equates to $1.4 million per day.
  • Masterplan is in breach of the WAR Act which prohibits any proposal for an airport longer than 1200 metres.
  • Airport is non-compliant with CASA Air Safety Guidelines. 

The Central Coast is well serviced with major airports having 3 within one hour travelling:

  1. Kingsford Smith at Mascot (international and Domestic);
  2. Newcastle at Tea Gardens, one of the lowest cost airports in Australia (International and Domestic);
  3. New Badgerys Creek Airport – opening 2026 (international and Domestic).

Click on links to view attached documentation:

2018 Aug Planning NSW tell CEO Council breaking Warnervale law by exceeding 88 movement limit (A)

1973 Wyong Shire Council (WSC) ignores objection from Planning Department and builds an aerodrome at Warnervale (1)

1995 WSC ignores community protests and signs agreement with Traders Finance to build 1800m Warnervale jet airport

1995 Community take WSC to Land and Environment Court to have airport properly considered, lose action

1996 Australian Aviation magazine says airport to take Boeing 747’s, statement retracted in March 1996.(1a)

1996 WSC Mayor Eaton pursues Airport Action Group president Jorg Breitkopf for $60,000 court costs

1996 NSW government responds to community protests and enacts Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Act (ACT) imposing a 10pm to 6.30am curfew and 88 aircraft movement per day limit on the airport if extended

1998 WSC makes one off application for 1600m runway under ACT

1998 NSW Government makes ex gratia payment of $60,000 to Mr Breitkopf paying for legal costs.

2001 NSW government refuses WSC application for 1600m runway and decides 1200m runway position (2)

2003 Mayor Best and WSC GM agree in a meeting with Airport Action Group to develop airport for industrial use and not proceed with Regional Airport (2a)

2008 Airport not recommended for retention, zoned industrial to address land shortage in WEZ Study (3)

2008 WSC does deal with Mirvac to develop airport as industrial estate, Aeroclub to go to Belmont (3a)

2013 WSC’s Warnervale Airport Feasibility Study recommends industrial development of airport (4)

2013 2,600m airport included in Wyong LEP. Community protests inclusion asks for removal.

2013 Airport removed from LEP by NSW Government after community protest and meeting m

2013 WSC’s SGS Economics land audit found Warnervale Airport site could provide 626 industrial jobs (5)

2013 Kiar 2,600m airport approved by WSC

2013 LEP comment-no capacity to upgrade WVA. (6)

2013 December Central Coast Regional Transport Plan published contains no airport. (6a)

2014 Kiar site and offset land purchased from Terrace Tower Group for $17m. VG only $7.5m. No independent valuation carried out by WSC. No compulsory acquisition.

2014 CC Regional Plan Discussion Paper includes Regional Airport six times at WSC request.

2014 December WSC applies to NSW government for $26m in funding to begin industrial development of “Old Airport” site at Warnervale (7)

2015 May, WSC request NSW Planning Minister to repeal ACT

2015 August, WSC builds new 1196m runway at Warnervale under guise of repairing pot holes. WSC deny lengthening runway from 970m to 1196m.

2015 Nov, Regional Airport removed from Draft CC Regional Plan by Planning NSW.          

2015 Nov, WSC dump Kiar, approve a $48m Warnervale 1800m jet airport but fail to exhibit the secret proposal (7a)

2015 Warnervale Airport loses $265,000 and value reduced by $229,000 in 2014/15 financial statement (8)

2016 Planning NSW finds WSC lengthened runway from 970m to 1196m. 88 movement cap per day and 10pm to 6.30am curfew applies. (9)

2016 Planning fines WSC $3,000 for damaging wetland veg during runway extension, not rehabilitated

2016 NSW Government announces independent review of WVA ACT, community submissions invited

2016 CCC Administrator requested to withdraw Act repeal request and given copy of Laurie Eyes submission to independent review of the Act. (9a)

2016 Lake Mac Council objects to airport in CC Regional Plan (10)

2016 Newcastle Airport submits to Regional Plan Central Coast part of their passenger catchment (11)

2016 August, Kiar land put on market EOI’s requested

2016 July, Central Coast Council (CCC) signs confidential 40 year lease agreement for 5 hectares of airport land with Amphibious Aerospace Industries (AAI) to refurbish and build Grumman Albatross aircraft

2016 Express Advocate finds AAI is $120 company that has never built an aircraft and formed only months before the land lease and deed signing.

2016 WSC purchase 140 Sparks Road for $1.8m plus GST.

2016 December 23 AAI hangar DA exhibited with community given 2 weeks to respond over holidays.

2016 CCC approves $6m to be spent on Warnervale Airport in 2016/17 operational plan.

2016 Warnervale Airport loses $635,000 and devalued by $229,000 in 2015/16 financial statement (12)

2016 Minister approves Central Coast Regional Plan with no airport whatsoever

2016 Lake Macqurie Council requests WVA Act remains and is strengthened (13)

2017 CCC approves stage one AAI hangar, 2,760sqm on 6,862sqm site with potential 26-36 jobs

2017 CCC briefs NSW Cabinet, lobbies for Act repeal, threatens Planning NSW with legal action if curfew and movement restrictions are applied (14)

2017 CCC approves another $6m to be spent on Warnervale Airport in 2017/18 operational plan

2017 February AAI apply to lower hangar floor by 500mm. CCC builds 500m flood levee bank and raised road, raises Jack Grant Ave builds 5km chain wire fence around airport.

2017 February CCC DA for 5,000sqm hangar to house Amphibious aircraft. DA withdrawn after 2 weeks

2017 May CCC clears 1.2 Ha of E2 conservation land for AAI roads at 140 Sparks Road.

2017 August NSW Planning Minister announces Warnervale Airport Restrictions ACT to be retained (15)

2017 CCC compulsorily acquiring remaining two Jack Grant Ave properties.

2017 September CCC applies for DA to cover clearing of IN1 and E2 land on 140 Sparks Rd at airport. Application refused.

2017 Airport loses $921,000 on $11,000 revenue for 13.5 months or just $26/day in 2016/17 financial statement (16)

2017 CCC resolves to stop 1799m airport development, but retain existing runway.

2017 Planning NSW Director Operations CC says “notwithstanding advice that may have been given to Councillors, the Act is in force and remains unchanged” (17)

2017 November Central Coast Aviation Hub Master Plan:

2018 Cr Best third airport rescission motion fails. Transcript of meeting reveals Cr Best does not want to extend or widen runway and does not want to change WAR Act. Public has already been consulted on airport in LEP, Regional Plan and Act review and said NO

2018 Lake Macquarie City Council writes to Central Coast Council expressing concern over proposed airport expansion. (31)

2018 Complaint made to CASA re non compliance with ALA Guidelines (32)

2018 Information given to CEO re runway length maximum of 970m prior to extension in August 2017 (33)

2018 CASA to approach Council and aircraft operators to remind them of ALA obligations (34)

2018 CASA advised Warnervale Air training pilots before attaining General Flying Progress Test level contrary to ALA Guidelines (35)

2018 Deputy PM writes to Emma McBride advising of CASA actions re Warnervale landing area (36)

2018 CASA write to Mayor Smith re ALA safety. (37)

2018 Council responds to CASA with E2 conservation, riparian, WEZ Biocertified fauna corridor 200m wide tree trimming proposal north of Warnervale ALA. (38)

The Central Coast Council has passed a motion to permanently protect Porters Creek wetland.

Read the newspaper report of the Mayor’s comments See: https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2018/12/action-taken-to-protect-the-largest-fresh-water-wetland-on-the-central-coast/

For educational resources on the wetland see: http://www.blueplanet.nsw.edu.au/porters-creek-case-study/.aspx

Why we need Porters Creek Wetland permanently protected : it is the most important wetland on the Central Coast.

Contact details

CALL 02 4349 4756

FAX 02 4349 4755

PO Box 149 Ourimbah NSW 2258

The Manor, Central Coast Campus
University of Newcaste
Brush Road Ourimbah


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