One of our Victorian members suggests that besides what was probably water in the fuel of the
CASA’s Design Standards for Licensed Aerodromes (2002) Section 7.17.16 prescribes:
“The fly-over area is the extra area provided for an instrument runway on either side of the runway over and above the area provided for a non-instrument runway. This area is provided to allow an aircraft to be able to fly over it at very low level, in the event of a missed approach. No portion of a runway strip beyond the graded area, nor objects thereon, are to project upwards through a plane surface, originating from the outer edge of the graded runway strip, sloping upwards and outwards at a slope of 5% measured with reference to the horizontal.”
Five people, including pilot Max Quartermain, were killed instantly on impact as the Beechcraft King Air crashed into the DFO shopping centre and burst into flames about 9am yesterday, shortly after taking off from Essendon Airport. The tragedy is Victoria’s worst aviation accident in 30 years.
So who approved the rezoning of the airport’s movement area into a business zone and the construction of the DFO immediately adjacent to both runways?
The Bulla Precinct was developed during 2004-2007. On December 22, 2004, PM John Howard’s then Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd MP (not so honourable) approved Essendon Airport’s plan to build a retail and outlet centre on Bulla Road (recklessly within the aviation runway precinct).
The following media release by Jim Lloyd MP reveals the reckless approval by the Australian Government to site a new retail and outlet centre inside the runway precinct, on grassland that was originally set aside for emergency landings in Essendon Airport’s pre-existing safety design.
The conditions of the approval implicate the Civil Aviation and Safety Authority by its failure to comply with its own “CASA standards” in Australian and ICAO airport design and modifications.
Then again, on October 31, 2008 Labor’s Anthony Albanese MP as then Kevin Rudd’s Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government approved a Master Plan for Essendon Airport. Relevant to yesterday’s plane crash this included the ‘Bulla Precinct’ comprising “low-level office buildings within a landscaped setting complete with off-street car parking; and a range of additional commercial activities may be permitted so long as they do not limit or affect aviation activity.”
Well the DFO did affect aviation activity yesterday and five people died as a consequence.
“The Commonwealth retains ownership of Essendon Airport, which is leased for 99 years. The Lessee, Essendon Airport Pty Ltd, must provide for the use of the airport site as an airport and for access to the airport by interstate and intrastate air transport…Throughout the term the Lessee must develop the airport site at its own cost and expense having regard to…” b) the quality standards reasonably expected of such an airport in Australia…The Airports Regulations 1997 provides that subleases
for residential development at the airport are prohibited without the prior consent of the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.”
So if the families of those who perished in the plane crash yesterday want to sue anyone, try the following culpable lot for starters:
- Essendon Airport Pty Ltd
- Civil Aviation Safety Authority
- The Australian Government
R.I.P Texan tourists and golfing buddies Greg De Haven, Russell Munsch, Glenn Garland and John Washburn and pilot Max Quartermain, who tried to save them.
Thanks to our informed member.