We are writing in response to recent discussion surrounding the permit we have applied for to operate commercial joy flights out of our private airfield at Inverloch.
The response we’ve received has been a mixture of encouragement and objection.
Agricultural aircrafts have been top dressing and spraying the land in South Gippsland since the early 1950s, and it is common knowledge that this has not affected the fauna and animals in any way. There will always be planes flying over Inverloch and its surrounds, regardless of whether or not this permit is granted.
Our operation was incorrectly referred to as a public airport. This is not the case. It is, and will remain, a private airfield, where permission would be required in advance for any use of the runway/s. Also, there has been no mention of helicopters and the like. We own one single engine Cessna and our proposal is to operate joy flights with this aircraft.
The ratepayer would not be affected with this airfield, or that of Leongatha South, as both are privately operated businesses.
As with Leongatha South, all operations at the airfield in question are, and will continue to be, conducted under strict aviation law.
Prior to making any application, we have sought and been given all appropriate permits from VicRoads regarding access from the Bass Highway.
We are aware that this land is zoned farming, and to that end, we are happy to report that all of the area of both grass runways are used for productive farming on a regular basis as we graze our cattle.
Having cleared up these few inaccuracies, we would like to point out some of the positives that this airfield would bring to the region.
Firstly, it would offer a central location for the State Emergency Services, CFA, and the like, in the event of fire or similar emergency. While there are several private airstrips in the municipality, these are only single strips. We are offering an airfield with two airstrips, so that regardless of the wind direction it can be utilised.
Further to this, we believe that the airfield supports the three key pillars of our local tourism strategy; the beach, the environment, the village.
The joy flights we are proposing offer a way of experiencing our region with the absolute minimum environmental footprint. Tourists can experience Wilsons Promontory, Phillip Island, and all that lies in between without any effect on the environment.
Michael and Chris Malone, Inverloch.