Flight training issue needs solution

Flight Training Adelaide's commercial pilot training trial at Port Lincoln Airport is affecting students at Poonindie Primary School.

The main argument from residents and the school is that little consultation was given before the trial began and only a small number of households received a letter informing them on the project over the Christmas period.

It seems some people in the townships near the airport found out about the proposed program via local media.

Some have argued that the residents affected should have known the risks when moving near the airport.

But the Lower Eyre Peninsula Council's airport master plan proposed a 'high' forecast of 10,380 aircraft movements in 2035.

Not the proposed 178 additional aircraft movements per day or the 65,000 per year in 2020.

Council meetings involving the project have also been conducted in confidence which seems to have only fanned the flames of community concern.

Residents of North Shields, Louth Bay and surrounding areas have made no secret about the affect the trials are having on them but when it starts to take a toll on a school perhaps something should be done.

If a permanent flight training program is established the school at Poonindie will likely need some investment to give the students there the best shot they have to learn without distractions.

The rural setting of the school has been disturbed, but the main issue is children's education is being affected as circuiting planes fly near the school for extended periods of time.

Despite FTA's announcement that it will delay the permanent establishment of a flight training program in Port Lincoln sounding like good news, to residents and the school that is not the case because it means FTA will continue its trial until late next year.

What can be done to ensure the school can thrive and not be affected by the noise remains unknown.

Now that the matter has been referred to the State Commission Assessment Panel it's also somewhat out of the Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council's hands.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future a compromise is reached to give residents and students some peace of mind.