Boonah Aviation and Scenic Rim Regional Council renegotiate five-year lease

LEASE: Ultimate Aero's Lauchie Park, Brian Deveson, Liam Grub, Nigel Arnot and Pieter Deviser will be affected by the renegotiated lease agreement.
LEASE: Ultimate Aero's Lauchie Park, Brian Deveson, Liam Grub, Nigel Arnot and Pieter Deviser will be affected by the renegotiated lease agreement.

BOONAH Airfield has been given a reprieve after residents last month spoke out against what they saw as a move to close the airstrip due to safety concerns.

Scenic Rim Regional Council and Boonah Aviation have confirmed that operations at the Boonah Airfield will continue for the next five years.

Council also promised a review to "confirm arrangements that will best meet the interests of the community, airfield users and council in the long term".

Nigel Arnot, owner of aircraft repair, maintenance and restoration outfit Ultimate Aero based at Boonah airfield who last month told the Beaudesert Times that council would be in for a fight if it tried to close the airport said he would attend the meetings.

Mr Arnot said his wife had been advised by mayor Greg Christensen to "take 12 deep breaths before speaking to the media in future".

"Things are looking a bit more positive at this stage and I will be very interested to see what happens," Mr Arnot said.

"There will also be another meeting today (Thursday) with (former mayor) John Brent and the Chamber of Commerce.

"For three years we have been trying to get this sorted and we have just been duck-shoved from one councillor to another, so I hope this is more than just words."

In a joint statement, council, Boonah Airfield Incorporated and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia confirmed that a lease was being written to improve communications and expectations.

It said there had been misinformation over the Boonah Airfield.

Council said the 2020 lease would be replaced after both parties sought to resolve legacy issues and shortcomings in the existing document.

Council and BAI said they would present a joint community forum in Boonah later this month to bring clarity concerning the airfield.

Cr Christensen said it was essential the community understood the issues.

"Council currently owns several parcels of land that are leased to BAI," he said. "BAI also has agreements with other landowners to use parts of their properties as part of the airfield.

"Council values this local airfield and its contribution within the local economy, and has been working with Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Australia and BAI to improve aspects of communications and governance surrounding the airfield's use."

BAI president Mark Bahr said Boonah facilitated critical disaster relief aviation services like firefighting.

"The airfield is also a centre for general aviation, sport and recreational flying, which provides technical trade employment opportunities for the region."