The NSW government last week said it would repeal the Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Act 1996 after accepting an independent review recommendation.
The Act placed several restrictions on Warnervale airport, including a movement cap of 88 take-offs and landings per day, which became the subject of an independent review conducted earlier this year.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said there was an overwhelming response from the community, with more than 75% of submissions to the review calling for the Act to be repealed.
“The review found a range of problems with the Act–including that it is overly complex, difficult to administer and was creating safety risks–and recommended it should be repealed as soon as possible,” Stokes said.
“We will continue to work with Central Coast Council on a staged repeal of the Act, ensuring the appropriate planning controls and plans of management are in place to govern and manage the future operations of the Airport.”
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast and Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch said the NSW Government will introduce legislation in September to implement the recommendations, starting with the repeal of the daily take-off and landing cap.
“Our community has sent a strong message that it wants Warnervale Airport retained and accessible for public use by community groups like the Aero Club, and our Government will act to ensure this is the case,” Crouch said.
“The Airport is used for training the next generation of Australian pilots, as well as enabling medical evacuations and bushfire emergency responses to occur. It’s vital that we support the continued operation of this important asset.”
The review also recommended that the Central Coast Council, which owns the airport, "should adopt a clear framework to govern the Airport’s future management" and address safety issues affecting the runway, including reducing tree heights at the northern end of the runway that intrude into the obstacle limitation surface (OLS).
Minister Stokes said that the government had accepted those recommendations as well.
Problems between airport users and the Central Coast Council that sparked the review have been ongoing, with the council stating they wished to revegetate part of the existing runway and refusing to renegotiate the usage agreement with Central Coast Aero Club.
The announcement is seen as a win for Warnervale Airport, Central Coast Aero Club and the greater general aviation community.