Airport welcome hub concept a conversation starter

The proposal by the Lower Eyre Peninsula Residents Association for a welcome centre at the Port Lincoln Airport precinct has a lot of potential.

It is certainly a grand plan and would require significant investment that would have to include serious amounts of grant funding but the idea of a centre incorporating a tourism hub, local produce, galleries, a bush garden, an auditorium, a business lounge and a restaurant is worth looking at.

It is good to see the residents association being proactive and it helps reinforce the group's assertion that its members are not anti-development or against commercial use of airport land, they just did not want Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) based at the airport due to the impact of regular circuits of the DA40 aircraft.

The discussion for and against FTA's plans for a flight training facility based at the Port Lincoln Airport - although ugly at times - saw some valid arguments on both sides and one such argument in support of the facility was the economic boost it would bring to the region.

The proposed welcome centre is the residents association's alternative for economic development.

The concept, which is available on the association's website, aims to create jobs, and increase council revenue and spending in the region as well as offering a wide range of promotional opportunities.

The association now wants the community's views on the idea to ensure there is wider support for the concept and refine it before presenting it to the Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council.

If and when a final proposal is officially presented to the council there will be a lot of things to consider and who will pay for it and would it be sustainable are right up there.

However starting the conversation is the only way anything like this will ever happen, even if it is ultimately on a smaller scale.