Lake Macquarie Airport

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Belmont Airport
Summary
Airport typePrivate
OwnerPrivate Consortium
ServesCity of Lake Macquarie
LocationMarks Point, New South Wales, Australia
Elevation AMSL5 ft / 2 m
Coordinates33°04′00″S 151°38′54″E / 33.06667°S 151.64833°E / -33.06667; 151.64833Coordinates: 33°04′00″S 151°38′54″E / 33.06667°S 151.64833°E / -33.06667; 151.64833
Map
YLMQ is located in New South Wales
YLMQ
YLMQ
Location in New South Wales
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
07/25 820 2,690 Bitumen
Source: AIP Enroute Supplement [1]

Lake Macquarie Airport (formerly Belmont Airport) (IATA: BEO[2], ICAO: YLMQ) is an airfield located in the Lake Macquarie suburb of Marks Point, 15 km (9.3 mi) south of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

The airport is located on a narrow peninsula between the Pacific Highway and a shallow tidal inlet that forms the entrance to Lake Macquarie.

For most of its history, the airfield functioned as the base for Aeropelican Air Services, who operated commuter flights to and from Sydney using DHC-6 Twin Otters, however services were withdrawn in 2006 and the airfield was sold to the Mirvac Group for $5.5 million in 2008.[3]

NSW Ambulance and Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service operate a base from the airport, performing aeromedical retrieval services for northern New South Wales [4]. Other tenants include nationwide skydiving company, Skydive the Beach and Beyond, whose Newcastle tandem skydiving drop zone operates here, along with Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall.[5]

Past proposals for use[edit]

Lake Macquarie City Council has expressed an interest in maintaining the site for aviation uses. Although the airport is privately owned and council has limited control over the site, zoning restrictions encourage future aviation use. The Council's Lifestyle 2030 Strategy development plan, published in March 2013 identifies the airport as having "ongoing potential for use by commuter aircraft" to serve Sydney and regional areas while generating business and employment opportunities.[6] The council has previously rejected a proposal to redevelop the airport into housing estates.[7]

Under current guidelines, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has classified Belmont as an Aircraft Landing Area (ALA) as due to land constraints the site infrastructure does not meet the dimensions required to operate as a registered airport,[8] placing some restriction on future uses for commercial passenger flights.

Despite this, there have been attempts to restore the airport as an aviation facility since the withdrawal of Aeropelican, particularly since the closure and redevelopment of Cooranbong Airport, another privately owned airfield located to the west of Lake Macquarie.[9] At the time of the 2008 sale, the Central Coast Aero Club was reported to have struck a deal with Mirvac to purchase the airport as a base of operations in exchange for the redevelopment of Warnervale Airport, owned by the club.[3] This deal did not eventuate.

In 2013, a consortium represented by Skyline Aviation Group and Red Bull Air Race pilot Matt Hall were reported as being close to closing a deal with Mirvac to purchase the airport, however backed out of negotiations before the deal could be finalised.[10] In July 2014, negotiations led by Airborne Windsports, Matt Hall Racing, Skyline Aviation Group, Skydive the Beach and Beyond and a private investor concluded successfully, with airport upgrade works planned to commence immediately.[11] As of June 2017, these works have not yet commenced.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ YLMQ – Lake Macquarie Airport (PDF). AIP En Route Supplement from Airservices Australia, effective 01 March 2018
  2. ^ Accident history for BEO at Aviation Safety Network
  3. ^ a b "Belmont Airport sold". NBN Television. 4 July 2008.
  4. ^ "Media Release - $5.5 million Belmont Rescue Helicopter Base Opened". 1 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Newcastle, here we come!". Skydive the Beach and Beyond. 17 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Lifestyle 2030 Strategy" (PDF). Lake Macquarie City Council. 11 March 2013.
  7. ^ Cronshaw, Damon (28 May 2013). "Mirvac to sell Belmont Airport". The Newcastle Herald.
  8. ^ "Standing Committee Meetings" (PDF). Lake Macquarie City Council. 21 February 2011.
  9. ^ Patrick, Arthur (18 April 2012). "The Cooranbong Airport and Adventist Aviation". Adventiststudies.
  10. ^ McGowan, Michael (17 December 2013). "Belmont Airport sale falls through". The Newcastle Herald.
  11. ^ "Clean-up of Belmont airport to take flight soon". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 1 July 2014.