By Matt Male
A JOY flight business based from a small airfield between Wonthaggi and Inverloch could be open within the coming months.
And it’s set to offer impressive views of the Bunurong coastline.
Michael and Chris Malone are aiming to have the business ready by Christmas, to then take people on flights to see the local beaches and land from up high.
Weather permitting, the hangar will be set up within the next few weeks.
When the business is up and running, it’ll show off the beautiful Bunurong Marine and Coastal Park to tourists.
For farmers, it’s going to offer them a chance to see their property from the sky, and for photographers, it’ll create mesmerising photos.
In his Cessna 182Q plane, Michael’s well-travelled in the sky. He’s been flying for three decades.
“I’ve been flying across to Wilsons Promontory for 30 years and I’m still amazed. It’s different every time I go there, it’s beautiful,” he said on Monday.
“I’ve just flown right around Australia and seen a lot of coastline, and this is still outstanding,” he said of the recent nation-wide Outback Air Race – a fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
The local Bunurong Inverloch team raised $12,500 for the healthcare service.
Michael’s always had a passion for sharing the experience of flying with others.
“I think around here we’re expecting to take mostly tourists up in the sky, but we also take photographers and farmers who want to see their properties.
“The main attraction will be the Bunurong coastline, but we can go the bridge and the race track on Phillip Island too, as well as the Prom.
“I’d like to think if I can inspire some young people to learn to fly – male or female – by setting this up, that’d be incredible.”
Approval for the airstrip has been a long time coming.
It follows a council decision in September last year when councillors refused a permit for the joy flight business.
The issue was then argued in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) courts, where the decision was overturned last Monday, September 17.