Lower Eyre flight academy issue heads to court

Lower Eyre Peninsula residents concerned about the development of a flight training academy at Port Lincoln Airport took their matter to court last week.

A brief directions hearing was held in the state Environment, Resources and Development Court on Thursday morning on the application by the Lower Eyre Peninsula Airports Residents Association Inc (LEPARA) against Flight Training Adelaide Pty Ltd (FTA) and Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council.

LEPARA has argued the flight training activities at the airport qualified as a change in land use, which required a development approval.

Local resident Sue Wegener said there was no public consultation and while there had been training at the airport in the past, there had never been a commercial training facility.

"A commercial flight training facility is a new use of land and what we're asking the court to do is to ensure any action like that in the future or continuation of actions needs to be done through a community development process," she said.

The council's chief executive officer Rod Pearson said the council did not believe FTA's activities required approval and opposed LEPARA's application accordingly.

"The council has filed an interlocutory application to have LEPARA's application dismissed before a summons is issued," he said.

The matter has been listed for a hearing in the Environment, Resources and Development Court on October 9.

In July FTA announced it had put its application for a permanent facility on hold and would stop all operations by the end of October with a possible review within the next two years.