Draft Central Coast Airport Masterplan

Central Coast Airport RFI

The Request For Information (RFI) on this project has now closed.

Overview

Central Coast Council is currently undertaking a detailed airport master planning process which aims to deliver an airport designed specifically to support the general aviation sector in NSW.  

The repeal of the Warnervale Airport Restrictions Act in 2021 provided our community with a clear signal regarding the future of the Central Coast Airport at Warnervale. Council is now getting on with what the State Government has asked of us in relation to planning for the Airport.

As the ninth largest region in Australia, the Central Coast is recognised as a substantial growth corridor, yet it remains the only major population centre without a recognised and supported airport.

Central Coast Airport Masterplan

The Central Coast Airport Masterplan will set a coherent framework for development whilst providing certainty for the community to protect environmental and conservation land by identifying and excising these lands from any developable land.  The general aviation hub will complement other planned developments in Council’s northern precinct, including Warnervale business and education precinct, Warnervale town centre and Wyong Employment Zone industrial lands.  

The Central Coast Aviation Hub will be a key driver of economic and employment growth for the Central Coast. The masterplan will ensure that the airport is developed as:

  • a key driver for regional economic development
  • a key driver for the generation of regional employment opportunities, particularly in the skilled, professional and technology-based sectors
  • a stimulus for regional investment 
  • a stimulus for the tourist industry
  • a key regional infrastructure project which will provide air transport options for residents and improve the region’s economic competitiveness.

Telephone Survey

In late 2021 Council undertook an independent survey to explore the community appetite for the development of this Masterplan. This survey was used as a tool in the decision-making process to determine if Council should continue with the development of the Central Coast Airport Masterplan. 

Key outcomes from the survey included: 

  • Broadly 75% of the 602 residents surveyed indicated they were either “strongly in support” or “supportive” of the airport concept 
  • 90% were “supportive or somewhat supportive
  • Respondents rated creation of employment opportunities and local business opportunities as the highest development objectives of the proposal

You can view the results of the telephone survey here

Request For Information (RFI)

On 8 February 2022 Council resolved to proceed to Gateway 1 and 2 of the Central Coast Airport Development Framework which includes undertaking an RFI (Request For Information) from the general aviation industry and other interested parties to determine the future demand requirements on the airport. 

The RFI process concluded on 5 April 2022. 

Next steps and Stay updated 

Council has used the information collected throughout the telephone survey and RFI process to inform the development of the Draft Central Coast Airport Masterplan which is on public exhibition between 14 December 2023 and 13 February 2024. 

Find out more and have your say on the draft Central Coast Airport Masterplan here! 
 

Why did Council undertake a telephone survey? 

Central Coast Council engaged Woolcott Research and Engagement to undertake a community survey to seek input for the development of a Central Coast Airport Masterplan.  The survey comprised of 602 mixed mode interviews with Central Coast Council residents aged over 18.  The target sample quotas were set for age range, gender, and location to ensure robust and representative results. In addition, a quota was established to ensure that a minimum of 100 interviews were conducted with residents within a relatively short distance of the airport location (approx. 8km).

The key objectives of this study were as follows:

  • To obtain representative community feedback in relation to the initial concept.
  • To determine the initial level of community support for the development of a Masterplan.
  • To progressively reveal potential features of the Masterplan and to measure community reactions toward each (including the environmental impact, economic opportunities, employment opportunities, educational opportunities and social aspects).
  • To determine overall support once the full details of the Masterplan have been revealed.

A large majority of the respondents indicated support for the general objectives behind the development of a masterplan which includes the creation of employment and enhancing business opportunities.  The main benefits seen by the respondents for the development included job creation and training opportunities, benefit to local business through investment, and an increase in local tourism.  The main concerns expressed by the respondents related to the potential for increased noise, environmental impacts and the effect it will have on local traffic.

Why did Council conduct a Request for Information (RFI)? 

The Request For Information (RFI) sought to conduct a no obligation market sounding to clearly define the requirements of interested general aviation organisations and private individuals in relation to locating and operating their businesses at Central Coast Airport.  

It is to be noted that this RFI did not seek to establish any commercially binding agreement between Council and any respondents to the RFI.  
Council is NOT seeking to use this RFI for the purpose of entering into or negotiating a legally binding contractual arrangement.  

Council used the information provided in response to this RFI to inform the development of a draft Masterplan for the Central Coast Airport.  

How was the information collected throughout the RFI used to inform the development of the Masterplan? 

The information collected during the RFI process was used to understand the requirements of the general aviation sector potentially locating to Central Coast Airport.

How can I stay updated on the progression of the Central Coast Airport Masterplan?

Council has used the information collected throughout the telephone survey and RFI process to inform the development of the Draft Central Coast Airport Masterplan. 

The draft Central Coast Airport Masterplan is being publicly exhibited between 14 December 2023 and 13 February 2024, the community invited to find out more and have their say here.

Draft Central Coast Airport Masterplan

This public exhibition has now concluded.

Central Coast Council has prepared a draft Masterplan for the Central Coast Airport, informed by feedback collected via a telephone survey and through industry engagement undertaken in 2021/22. 

The Masterplan details the development of land surrounding the Central Coast Airport at Warnervale and presents the Central Coast with a new economic sector that will stimulate employment and economic activity. 

Under the proposal, Council intends to confirm those areas of Porters Creek Wetland that can be established as a stewardship site.  As a stewardship site, the biodiversity values of Porters Creek Wetland will be protected in perpetuity. 

Airports form an integral part of the Australian economy and are critical in connecting communities and enhancing the broader economic performance. Without access to local aviation services, the capacity for local trade and tourism to grow and compete with other major regional centres will be constrained. As the ninth largest region in Australia, the Central Coast is recognised as a substantial and significant growth corridor, yet it remains the only major population centre without a recognised and supported airport.

There have been many technical, financial, social and environmental complexities worked through in the development of the draft Central Coast Airport Masterplan. 

The draft masterplan provides a roadmap for development of the airport precinct over the next 10 years. Safeguarding the airport by upgrading the runway and taxiways to a Code 2B in accordance with aviation design authority classification, gives greater clarity to potential and future use of the airport. 

The runway is recommended to be widened from 10 metres to 23 metres, with the length remaining at 1200m. This will allow the airport to accommodate a wider array of aircraft up to an initial maximum take of weight (MTOW) of 10,000 kg, including but not limited to commonly utilised aircraft such as Beech King Air, Cessna Citation and the Beechcraft 1900.

The length of the runway is not suitable for regular passenger transport (excluding charter), with the masterplan seeking to explore expanded general aviation uses which may include, hangars, aircraft maintenance, charter operations, pilot training, aircraft sales and leasing, airport-related intermodal logistics, research and development.

The draft masterplan allows for the opportunity to expand employment activities, encourage greater tourism and has been developed in consideration of the important ecological constraints surrounding the airport lands and Warnervale Employment Zone (WEZ). Future investigation into the potential land use is proposed to both the west and east of the airport: 

Airport Masterplan Stages

The outcomes of these areas will be supported by a detailed analysis of the ecological constraints to determine the preferred land use. This information will be reported back to Council for further consideration: 

Biodiversity-Stewardship Considerations

Consultation update

Between 14 December 2023 and 13 February 2024, we sought community feedback using an interactive map and encouraged written submissions.

We will publish the results of the exhibition in the coming months.

 

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Where is the Central Coast Airport located?

The airport is located at 15 Jack Grant Avenue, Warnervale on 44 hectares of land zoned as IN1 – General Industrial.  

Why has Council developed a masterplan for the Central Coast Airport?

The decision by the NSW Government to repeal the Warnervale Airport (Restrictions) Act 1996 provided Council with a clear signal regarding the future of the Central Coast Airport at Warnervale. Council is now getting on with what the NSW Government has asked of us in relation to planning for the Airport.

Will the existing runway be lengthened? 

No, the draft Masterplan details the proposed development of land surrounding the Central Coast Airport at Warnervale. This does not include extending the length of the existing runway.

How will the environment be protected as part of the Master planning process?

The draft Masterplan has identified land required to support expansion of the Airport over the next 10 years.  It has also identified land that can now be included in a stewardship site, which will provide protection in perpetuity.  The Masterplanning process has also identified land for future investigation for either general aviation or conservation.  Work to determine the preferred uses of the investigation area would be undertaken during the life of the proposed Masterplan.

How is the development of the Central Coast Airport Masterplan being funded?  

Council will be exploring funding opportunities upon finalisation of the Masterplan.

Council exhibited the draft Central Coast Airport Masterplan over the holiday period, how did it ensure everyone had an opportunity to have their say?

We exhibited the draft Central Coast Airport Masterplan over an extended period to account for the summer holiday period.
To ensure the community was made aware of the public exhibition process, Council:

  • conducted a mailbox distribution to approximately 40,000 homes surrounding the Central Coast Airport
  • contacted stakeholders including industry personnel and environmental groups
  • extended the exhibition period to not less than 60 days to ensure compliance with Council's Community Participation Plan.

Where's it happening?

15 Jack Grant Avenue, Warnervale

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