Gatton airport proposal soars

PLANS for an airport in the Lockyer Valley could take flight in less than a month after only a handful of people objected to the proposal.

The multi-million facility proposed for a 123-hectare site at Clarendon, just north of Gatton, will have a 1km, all-weather landing strip along with facilities for the maintenance and sale of aircraft products and potentially transport passengers in future.

Former MacAir owner Randall McFarlane, now head of VNE Aviation Group, who submitted the application to Lockyer Valley Regional Council said he was impressed with the how the community had taken to the proposed development.

Only eight Lockyer Valley residents submitted written objections to the proposal, sighting noise as their number one concern.

Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones said council would consider the objections and community feedback within the next month or two.

“If you look at the amount of objections council receives for just ordinary developments around the area, eight isn’t bad for a development of this calibre,” Cr Jones said.

“The applicants did a hell of a lot of work in their plans and decision-making process before they submitted the proposal to council for consideration.

“An airport will no doubt be a good thing for our region and something that we desperately need.”

Initially the airport is not expected to accommodate passenger flights, but Cr Jones said considering the nearest airport to the population growth hotspot was in Brisbane, there was “huge potential” for it to expand.

“At the moment, it’s just a community airport for our region,” Cr Jones said.

“The amount of people from the Darling Downs, Ipswich, Gatton and Toowoomba that drive to the airport in Brisbane is ridiculous and something will have to be done to change that.”

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