Fly Neighbourly Policy
As an operator of helicopter operations at the Sunshine Coast Airport, Becker Helicopter Services Pty Ltd is committed to undertaking our operations in a manner which is considerate to local residents, adheres to CASA regulations, whilst ensuring safe operation of the helicopter.
We endeavour to manage our impact carefully – most of the time you don’t even notice us. We achieve this by implementing a fly neighbourly policy, through the following general directives:
- All pilots to plan all flights to minimise flights over built up areas (e.g. over water or rural areas)
- Where possible, use satellite strips for helicopter circuit operations
- Avoid flying low over populated areas
- Avoid tight manoeuvres and turns while operating helicopters over populated areas
- The volume of touch and go and autorotation training on the main runway 18/36 to be kept to a minimum
- No training to occur east of the main runway 18/36 – all operations to be kept west of the flight strip wherever possible
- No circuit training to occur between the hours of 2200 and 0700
- Ensure that environmental and noise levels are included in pilot training and exercise planning
- Respond to community enquiries about noise in a co-operative manner
So when you do experience noise, to an extent that it is a real nuisance, its normally one of the following situations.
- Air Traffic Control
Air Traffic Control
At busy times, we can be placed in a holding position by Airport Tower staff, necessitating a low level hover near the runway whilst waiting for other aircraft to come or go. We realise this is noisy for residents who live very close to the airport, but there is little we can do in these circumstances. As regulations permit, we are up and gone as quick as we can to minimise local noise.
- Transiting to our Training Areas
Transiting to our Training Areas
We actually conduct very little training at the airport. Nor do we conduct training manouveres over residential areas. We conduct our training manouveres at our numerous remote training areas located all over Southeast Queensland. When we transit to and from these areas we do fly over residential areas. When this occurs, we fly at or above 1000 feet. Sometimes we do this at night (until our curfew of 2200). It is a known fact that at night aircraft can look lower than they actually are and on a cool, dry night, or across water, noise travels further.
- Circuit/Emergency Training
The training manuoveres we do need to conduct at a flat open space (typically an aerodrome) is circuit training and emergencies training. These are conducted at specific times during our training syllabus and are an extensive and repetitive part of the program. These periods of training normally only occur for a few weeks of the year. We try very hard to spread these training lessons over a range of aerodromes that are available to us so that the noise is not concentrated in one location.
- It's usually someone else
It’s usually someone else
Its unfortunate that as we are the biggest helicopter organisation in the region, we often get automatically blamed for the activities of other operators. Other operators get tasked to do very specific low level operations in and around residential areas like mosquito spraying, power line repairs, emergency response, and police work. Before you jump to the conclusion that it is Becker Helicopters, please try to identify the colour and/or markings on the helicopter and, if possible, the registration number marked on the tail. Take a note of the time. We know where all our helicopters are at every minute of the day.
- How to lodge a complaint
How to lodge a complaint
If you have a suggestion on how we could operate more neighbourly, or wish to make a specific complaint about our operations, we would like to hear about it. To best assist you, we would appreciate you recording your concerns in writing by completing the appropriate forms:
We ask that communication be kept in an open and friendly manner.
Other organisations you may wish to direct a complaint about helicopter operations include:
- Sunshine Coast Airport Management – Telephone 07 5453 1500
- Sunshine Coast Regional Council – Telephone 07 5475 7272
- Noosa Council – Telephone 07 5329 6500
- AirServices Australia- Telephone 1800 802 584