News

Chopper chief says some councillors 'piss-weak'

Becker Helicopters’ Jan and Mike Becker.
Becker Helicopters’ Jan and Mike Becker. Contributed

THE chief pilot of Becker Helicopters has labelled some councillors as "piss-weak, rank amateurs", after a vote to exclude helicopter training schools from the region's airports passed 7-3.

Councillor Darren Everard moved a motion in council to exclude the schools from being based at the region's airports.

He said he had received hundreds of complaints from residents after the loud chopper noise during the past week.

Despite the motion passing on Wednesday, the noise will continue - but no helicopter school can set up at the region's airports.

"We cannot stop these guys from coming here at the moment," Cr Everard said.

"They're coming here and using our airspace - council does not control the airspace."

Becker Helicopters has been operating on the Sunshine Coast since 1995 and chief pilot Mike Becker said the council vote had shut the door on an investment.

Mr Becker said the councillors hadn't even bothered to sit down and talk with him

"A councillor who is too piss-weak to actually stand up and look at the actual benefit and the big picture and they get this mass hysteria with this motion without even talking to the stakeholders," he fired.

The decisions they make are based on emotion and there's no brain in these decisions."

Cr Everard said preventing the business from coming to the Fraser Coast was in the best interest of the community.

"If these guys come here in the future en masse - can you imagine what it would be like having 10 helicopters hovering over the airport for hours," he said.

Mr Becker said the training wasn't done at the airports due to the noise issue.

"When we come into an area it's very important we find satellite bases," he said.

"We don't want to be doing the training at the airports for this very reason."

The pilot was in talks with the Mayor and chief executive officer about establishing the business in Hervey Bay.

"We were looking at a secondary base, maintenance facility - some expansion of training," he said.

"The slightest hint of that happening, one phone call to a councillor who's scared he's going to lose votes and all of a sudden an industry can't come."

Mr Becker said the choppers wouldn't necessarily operate at night - and he was initially willing to talk about that with the council.

In a scathing attack on this region's demographic, Mr Becker said the residents relied on handouts.

"We were hoping we would have a community that would actually appreciate and want the activity," he said.

"Unfortunately they don't and I personally think they don't want it because too many people are not desperate enough - the government pays their benefits.

Mr Becker praised the CEO and the Mayor for their efforts in trying to build the region's economy.

But he said the final vote was uneducated and poor decision-making.

"We'll certainly make it publicly known to the rest of the aviation community - Hervey Bay, if you're considering business there, don't bother," Mr Becker said.

Topics:  becker helicopters fraser coast council helicopters



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