YOUR readers may be interested to know that recently Airservices announced that they will be proposing to CASA that as of June 1, 2013 Tamworth airport’s control tower will cease operations on weekends. This decision is based on the existing traffic levels being lower than that required for the service to be provided.
For more than 20 years many people have said that there was never a need for a control tower at Tamworth on weekends. Presently on some days you may have one movement per hour, sometimes none at all.
On world aviation standards this situation would be considered laughable, and there is no need to wait until June, it should be closed immediately on weekends.
This decision will be a huge advantage for the general aviation industry in the Tamworth region. It has suffered many knock down blows over recent years and is presently just hanging on the ropes, not only in Tamworth but all over Australia. All of its appeals to the authorities appear to fall on deaf ears.
By having a control tower at Tamworth it reduces the number of aircraft that fly in for maintenance, to purchase fuel, or to carry out business in the city. Many pilots avoid Tamworth aerodrome (like) the plague.
This closure will remove a very large cost from anyone learning to fly at Tamworth airport. For a student undertaking the training for a commercial pilot’s license it will be a saving of thousands of dollars – usually when they learn of the extra charges incurred due to the control tower at Tamworth, they go elsewhere.
During the week the situation is different because of the BAE Flying College, who require a control tower for their training of pilots for the RAAF. It is not operated due to any safety reasons, only for training.
Why are the added costs of the control tower pushed on to all users when they do not need it? If the flying college need a control tower why can’t they provide their own.
So you see that due to safety reasons there is no need for a control tower at Tamworth at all, and the sooner it is closed completely the better for the general aviation industry.
The next meaningful step in this sorry saga should be the reduction of the size of the controlled airspace around Tamworth airport. At present it is big enough to handle a Concorde or an A380 Airbus type aircraft, another laughable situation on world present day aviation standards.
Then Tamworth Regional Council should look at the removal of landing fees for local training aircraft. This is another huge cost on learning to fly at Tamworth. At other aerodromes in this region there are no landing fees for general aviation.