Airfield in holding pattern


By Jessica Micallef

The future of Kyneton Airfield’s plans for expansion are still up in the air.

Residents will have to wait another three months for a decision on a master plan for the airfield, which could bring up to 10,000 annual flights to the area, after the Macedon Ranges council this week again deferred a decision.

At a council meeting in October, councillors set a deadline of February 2020 to make a decision on the Kyneton Airfield Master Plan 2019. However, last Wednesday discussions about the master plan were closed to the public after councillors voted to have it dealt with in confidential matters.

A statement released after the meeting said after consideration of the master plan, including submissions and feedback received, a decision had been deferred.

A report on the future of the Kyneton Airfield is expected to be provided to the council no later than the May council meeting.

Macedon Ranges Residents Association secretary Christine Pruneau said the discussion behind closed doors “raised a few eyebrows”.

“I don’t know what is going on,” she said. “It makes people wonder what is going on. People would be interested in what was said.”

The airfield covers about 197,000 square metres and is used for recreational flying, flight training and by the CFA.

Most of the airfield is zoned for public use, however a lot at 8 Rawson Place is zoned farming. The master plan proposes the lot be amended to public use to accommodate up to 12 privately-owned hangars, offices and a tourism hub.

Flights at the airfield could almost double from 5110 to 10,000 a year under the plans outlined in the draft plan.

More than 120 submissions were received during a six week public consultation period last year – 12 per cent of those were objections. They included inappropriate use of ratepayer funding, air and noise pollution, the airfield’s proximity to built-up areas and the lack of benefit to the community.

Ms Pruneau said she believed there were many issues that needed to be addressed in the master plan, including the close proximity of the airfield to Kyneton’s town centre.

“There needs to be a comprehensive rethink about the role of that airfield and the safety assets of it,” she said