Local airfield a valuable asset

I AM concerned at the rift developing in the community over the Jaspers Brush airfield.

The South Coast Recreational Flying Club at Jaspers Brush airfield is under attack from a few people in the Berry area calling themselves the Berry Airport Action Group (BAAG). This is a subgroup of the Berry Alliance. The Berry Alliance describes itself as a “community consultative body”. BAAG was formed to oppose the airfield and has been actively seeking community support to this end.

Flying is a very large part of our community. We have the navy air wing at Albatross and the Jaspers Brush airfield, which has been in existence for 45 years. We recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of Smithy’s flight from Gerroa beach across the Tasman.

Most people, including the members of BAAG, would now fly in a commercial airliner more than ever before. The pilots of these commercial airliners, almost without exception, started their flying career in small aircraft like the ones at Jaspers Brush and progressed through to a commercial pilot and a career in the airlines. Next time you fly, just look at the pilots up front, and think of how they got there, the training they went through learning to fly, and are now flying you safely wherever you wish to go. The BAAG seems to have overlooked their use of aviation and now want to take that privilege away from the next generation. Dreams of learning to fly can become a reality at Jaspers Brush.

I urge those people who have been contacted by BAAG and Berry Alliance to oppose Jaspers Brush airfield to think carefully about what you are doing. Do not let a small number of people convince you that destroying what has been here for over 45 years is the right thing to do. Support the South Coast Recreational Flying Club and help retain the small Jaspers Brush airfield and its flying activities.

Stop this nonsense and let a valuable asset of the South Coast remain.

M. Cochrane,


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