Flight training over Rabbit Is concerns

Last updated 12:30 06/10/2012

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The prospect of Nelson Aero Club students being able to carry out year-round low-flying training over the northern end of Rabbit Island has drawn flak.

Councillors attending Tasman District Council's community services meeting this week voiced a range of concerns about the proposal.

The council's property services manager Jim Frater said the club asked if it could re-establish an area over the island that could be used daily between 8am and 11.30am by students flying between 200 and 500 feet (61 to 152 metres).

Mr Frater said he had talked to the Civil Aviation Authority, the Conservation Department, council staff and the aero club about the proposal.

Councillor Zane Mirfin asked if he had talked to the community.

Councillor Stuart Bryant said 11.30am was a bit late for low-flying exercises. The island was popular, especially in summer.

Councillor Trevor Norriss said it would be better if the low-flying zone was over the island's southern end, rather than being close to the Mapua community. "I suggest we will create more problems than we are solving."

Deputy Mayor Tim King said resident concerns about low-flying training out of Motueka Airport had been going on for years.

The council did not want to create another problem.

He recommended a three-month trial of the zone during winter over the northern end of the island, flying finish at 10.30am and no flying at weekends.

Councillors asked for a report to come back to the November meeting on the recommendation.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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