It’s a little odd that Canberra doesn’t have a second airport. You’d expect a city this size to have one…but we don’t.
It’s not for want of trying.
Why would even want a second airstrip ? Well, I’m told that services such as flying schools cannot co-exist with a busy jet aircraft airport like Canberra. All of the flying schools that used to be based in Canberra have closed their doors and budding would be pilots have to travel to Goulburn or Moruya to learn their craft.
There’s been talk of a second airport here for decades. In the days before self government, the Federal powers that be were apparently committed to building a second air strip either at Bungendore or Williamsdale. It was put on the backburner when we started looking after our own affairs.
When Jon Stanhope was Chief Minister he commissioned a number of studies into this and proved the viability of a second air strip to the south of Canberra. According to David Edmunds from the Canberra Region Aviators Association, the studies showed that a second airstrip would more than pay for itself…it would actually turn a profit.
I spoke with David on my radio program this morning. He assures me that an airstrip at Williamsdale would be carbon neutral.
How on earth could an airstrip be carbon neutral.
Solar generation, that’s how.
And this is the reason we’re having this conversation now. The solar farm at Uriarra is no longer. It’s been scrapped from it’s original location and moved to Williamsdale. David and his flying mates are making it clear that airstrips and solar farms go together like bourbon and coke and that we should consider killing two birds with the one stone.
David pointed out to me this morning that Canberra’s Airport in it’s current location was always going to become the secondary location because a bigger ‘major airport’ was originally being planned for out Bungendore way. Apparently it was scuttled because of the belief that Bungendore was just too far away.
The Canberra Region Aviators Association has been trying to meet with Andrew Barr on this proposal but that he’s ignoring them.
We’ll be contacting the Chief Minister’s office today.