Recreational flyers land free

A NEW plan formed by the Fraser Coast council and the Fraser Coast Aviation Group means that recreational flyers using Fraser Coast airports will not pay landing fees.

Hervey Bay recreational pilot Max Streeter is confident the venture will bring in thousands of tourism dollars.

“It’s excellent news,” Mr Streeter said.

He said aviators who may have been reluctant to come to the Fraser Coast because of the fees would now be encouraged to visit.

“The tourism aspect of recreational flying has never been properly measured,” he said.

“There are usually three to four people in every little aircraft and they potentially bring in thousands of dollars.”

Mike Macbeth, chairman of the Fraser Coast Aviation Group, said the plan would benefit Fraser Coast residents and tourists alike.

“We suggested that Council could get a better economic return to the region through promoting free recreational use and attracting aircraft than it would through charging recreational flyers landing fees,” Mr Macbeth said.

“We believe that by promoting free recreational use, aviators from across the country will be attracted here which will help tourism and aviation businesses.”

Some of the strategies that will be investigated include promoting aviation tourism for recreational flyers to stay on the Fraser Coast, hosting community aviation activities and events, and encouraging the development of general aviation businesses at the airports.

“The council and the aviation industry have worked well together in the past couple of months to develop this plan,” mayor Mick Kruger said.

“We are now working together to promote the aviation industry and the Fraser Coast.

“While the council might not collect as much in landing fees to offset operations at the airport, we believe that increasing the number of visitors to the region will have an economic flow-on to all residents.

“Tourism is our major industry and we need to do whatever we can to promote it.”

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