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 firstname.lastname@example.org