Proposed Helicopter Base at Anna Bay

TRRA is aware of considerable community concern about a proposal to establish helicopter landing base with 4 pads and 2 hangars at the rear of the Ampol service station and car wash at 4136 Nelson Bay Rd Anna Bay, very close to the Anna Bay Lawn Cemetery. Up to 70 flight movements a day are proposed, between 8am and 6pm 7 days a week.

Details of the DA 2021-387 are online at

Try to get any submission in by Tuesday 6th July 2021 but if necessary you can request an extension of time.

Major issues include:

  • Proximity to the adjacent cemetery and disturbance to those who visit it for funerals and quiet remembrance. The site is within 100 metres of the closest graves.
  • The wider noise impact on those in nearby properties. There are several immediate neighbours and two large residential areas within 2 km of the site.  The acoustic report appears not to consider different types of helicopters, whether there could be more than one helicopter movement at once, or the effect of different wind directions and atmospheric conditions.
  • Clearance of approximately 218 m2 of native vegetation (including supplementary koala habitat) and effect on wildlife – site surveys found 30 fauna species. Mitigation measures appear to relate mainly to the construction, with little if any consideration of the impact on wildlife of helicopter operations.
  • It is far from clear that the operation is even allowed on this site, which is RU-2 – Rural Landscape This allows a helipad which is ‘not open to the public’ but prohibits a public heliport.
  • A private helipad could be expected to have significantly less movements (arrivals and/or departures) than a full scale heliport (air transport facility). This proposal is for up to 70 movements per day which suggest the operation would be more in the nature of a (prohibited) heliport.
  • To justify the ‘private’ label, the proposal is that the facility would only be open to existing patrons, customers and users of the Soldiers Point and Nelson Bay marinas. It is not clear what controls would ensure that the general public could not book a flight at the marinas.
  • Given that there are only approximately 300 marina berths, the proposal for up to 35 return flights per day, seven days a week, appears excessive, as does the need for four helipads. This again points to an intention for the facility to be a fully fledged heliport.


Advice issued 28 June 2021 by

This entry was posted in 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Proposed Helicopter Base at Anna Bay

  1. Brian Tehan says:

    A heliport should be somewhere near the airport, shouldn’t it? They could take some advantage of the airport controllers etc.

  2. Anyone that are for this proposal don’t live in ten kilometres of it .
    What’s wrong with the airport or a paddock somewhere away from peoples lives ,garage,cemetery. It just not a safe spot it’s insane!

  3. Jennifer Hodges says:

    This is not an appropriate site for this proposed helipad in Anna Bay. The location is in a RU2 – rural landscape zone. It is close to the residential zones of Anna Bay including close proximity to the Emerald Tiki Village and Anna Bay village who have permanent residents, and this also affects the wider residents of Anna Bay. The housing in this area are not prepared for such aviation noise. It may be said that we are exposed to the fighter jets flying by, but that is infrequent and are not taking off and landing in such close proximity. It is not fair to any resident, particularly to those living on lower incomes in the area to be subjected to this ongoing noise pollution when they have chosen to live next to a rural zoned area.
    The local flora and fauna also needs to have greater consideration, with the reports stating that their are 65 threatened matters living within a 5km radius, the noise and air pollution is bound to increase and must have an impact on those living there. Our environment and care for our natural landscape, local flora and fauna is one of the great tourism draw cards to the area, this must be protected.
    Tourism is also bound to be affected in Anna Bay as who wants to use a holiday park next to that kind of noise and air pollution. It will not increase tourism or business to the affected Anna Bay as the customers are to be escorted to the helipad from either of the Marina’s.
    The Helicopter operation is well away from impacting the Marina businesses owned by the operators. Their customers staying at their marinas are 12-13kms away so will not be impacted by the same noise and air pollution. They should have similar consideration to the location of this site being the same distance away from any residential communities and plan any similar development in a more appropriately zoned area.
    I cannot see a high demand for this type of operation, even if there is a small demand this is not an appropriate location.

  4. Jill Smith says:

    Primarily it is a business venture to make money for the owner, using an unsuitable site, with the wrong zoning at the expense of the peaceful ‘nature based tourism’ that is Anna Bay and our Community.
    This proponent seeks to establish a new base of tourism in Anna Bay that belongs in an airport. It will directly and indirectly affect tourists and residents alike destroying the amenity of the area with persistent unrelenting noise. In some cases damaging other operators business without any consideration. This will change the very nature of the quiet peaceful nature based tourist town of Anna Bay forever

  5. T. field says:

    Why is the helipad needed at all? Will it serve local residents who have moved to Anna Bay for the peace and quiet, 70 flights a day seem excessive and clearing vegetation which is home to koalas and other fauna and native flora for a money making venture, possibly for a business owned from someone outside the area who are not concerned about the quality of life for local residents as well as the closeness of the local cemetery, imagine a funeral taking place and then the noise of a helicopter destroying any words of comfort being spoken at a funeral. No helicopter pad needed here!

  6. Brian Hammond says:

    There is no other site more suited to this development? The impact this would have would be devistating. The way this has been proposed seems meant to fail opening up to maybe the council offering a get out by way of selling or leasing properties already half way there?

  7. Christina & John Mawkes says:

    Totally irresponsible … near a cemetary ?… also the amount flights proposed for the area of this size ..Port Stephens is unbelievable..the noise .. residents..we are trying to love this area to death..what else are they planning??? Unbelievable.

  8. Dale Canning says:

    I personally believe this is a good idea & the benefits to the local businesses will be positive.
    It is unfortunate that the land has to be cleared but given how much land gets cleared for housing it is far less of an impact. As for the native fauna & flora, again it’s unfortunate but do we stop all development. I’m actually pro nature but to a point.
    The area needs to move forward in its thinking, do we want business or not.
    The point has been raised that there are already helipads in the area but these pads need to be maintained, which they aren’t or they can use sporting fields, in an emergency yes.
    I fully support this concept.

  9. John Ballantyne says:

    If this is an obvious disguise of a “fully fledged” heliport then surely it’s a matter for the court and a permanent injunction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.