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.
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
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.
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.