Airport facilities require work

Mr Warren said light aircraft using the runways and taxiways experienced damage through loose stones being thrown up when taking off or landing.
Mr Warren said light aircraft using the runways and taxiways experienced damage through loose stones being thrown up when taking off or landing.

A pilot operating out of the Port Lincoln Airport has raised concerns about the maintenance of the general aviation facilities which have caused his plane damage.

Lincoln Air Charter co-owner and pilot Kevin Warren wrote a letter to the Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council to inform it about a number of issues at the general aviation section of the airport.

Mr Warren said light aircraft using the runways and taxiways experienced damage through loose stones being thrown up when taking off or landing.

He said he had his aircraft repainted only to be damaged by “buckshot” which was thrown up onto his plane, causing damage to the aircraft.

“I’ve been chasing the issue (with the council) for several years,” Mr Warren said.

“It’s certainly substandard.”

He also noted the lack of sealed parking areas at the airport, and the focus of the council’s attention on commercial operations rather than general aviation.

Mr Warren said he believed the council found it too costly for the council to run the airport and that it was a “drain on its resources.”

The issues were brought up at the council’s April meeting with a decision to meet with Mr Warren later that in May.

Due to council time constraints, the council and Mr Warren have not been able to meet to discuss his concerns.

“I’m a bit disappointed, it’s probably not that high on their priority list,” he said.

Council chief executive officer Rodney Pearson said the council would endeavor to meet with Mr Warren to discuss his concerns.

“Council recognises the need to hold the meeting, and still want to have the meeting,” he said.

“The Port Lincoln Airport is run as a self funding business unit so there is no drain on council rates – in fact a return is made...six per cent of general revenue is returned to the council as a return on investment and goes to the ratepayer.”

Mr Pearson said the council had always kept the airport to be run as a self funding business activity.

Mr Warren said the general aviation area was “subpar” for the area, which encompassed the population of Port Lincoln.

He said he would also aim to gather a group of other aircraft users to join together to petition the council to improve airport’s facilities rather than current group of “fragmented” users.