The NSW Government asserting that FlyBlue has failed to establish Katoomba Airfield’s existing use rights and therefore a planning pathway, despite it not being a condition of the 2017 EOI, is to dispute established facts that are so self-evident, as to be irrefutable.
The NSW Government has itself relied on existing use rights to issue lawful tenure over Katoomba Airfield since 1991, including the Larsen’s Licence for Aerodrome and Land Management in February 2018. It has also refused consecutive Aboriginal Land Claims (ALCs) based on the airfield operating lawfully under existing use rights:
18 July 2018 – Minister Toole refused ALC 21750: …airfield being subject to (unbroken) Special Lease 1966/14 granted 1 Dec 1969 for purposes of aerodrome… (GIPA 23/2590)
23 Dec 2019 – Minister Stokes refused ALC 49068: …lawfully used and occupied (including future plans) pursuant to Crown lands licence 592134 for aerodrome… (GIPA 22/2144)
25 Nov 2021 – Minister Stokes (delegate) refused ALC 50600: … lawfully used and occupied pursuant to Crown lands licence 592134 for aerodrome… (GIPA 23/2681)
Katoomba Airfield has served an essential public purpose since its official opening in 1968, being utilised by emergency services for decades, and frequently serves as the Nominated Operational Base (NOB) for aerial firefighting, including during the 2019/2020 bushfires.
The NSW Government’s decision to close the airfield does not benefit the people of NSW and is certainly not in the interest of General Aviation safety.
Sincere thanks to our supporters who have been with us on this journey since late 2017 – we are now into our sixth year. Stay tuned…!
Floyd and Derek Larsen