FAIR’S FAIR for airport tenants

DID YOU KNOW THIS SUCCESSFUL FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS HAS BEEN PUT THOROUGH THE RINGER?

The Airport expansion project has its troubles with millions of litres of toxic water, soil contamination and cost over runs but having met privately with McDermott Aviation a few weeks ago I came to realise that as with most things, you scratch the surface and a lot can be revealed.

I am told that this home-grown multimillion dollar business that was conceived in 1980 and currently employs nearly 170 local professionals, was initially in support of the airport expansion as it would position them for their own expansion plans and the future growth of their business. The flow on effect would be more permanent employment on the coast for more coastal families.

They understood there would be some inconvenience to their daily operations but overall were in support given the documentation and agreements made for the interim period.

McDermott’s have long term leases on numerous hangars at SCA. After repeated communicaitons, in September, the company wrote to airport management warning that sand and dust were a safety threat to its maintenance operations. Sunshine Coast Daily reported:

“SUNSHINE Coast Airport has been billed $3975 per day and warned it would face costs in that order for everyday sand and dust from the runway construction site impacted one tenant’s business.
McDermott Aviation has filed the invoice to cover the cost of its staff having to clean two hangars and water rinse engines of five aircraft and detail their airframes after strong northerly winds sent the dust and sand swirling through its maintenance workshops yesterday.”

These engines are worth half a million dollars each – there can be half a dozen open engines at any one time for maintenance purposes. Dust and sand destroy aircraft engines!.

THEN THERE’S THIS

McDermott Aviation, also having seen shifts to the contractual goal posts have been left out of pocket – and left in the dark literally.

In accommodating the project, McDermott for example were shifted to a new area of the apron or tarmac area. As their operations are 24/7 lighting is an important feature after sunset! This obviously introduces all sorts of safety implications.

What was the proposed solution?

The solution proposed by Sunshine Coast Airport Head of Operations and CEO was to install their own lighting at a cost of $250,000……

AND…..

They understood and supported that the final airport configuration (two fully integrated and operational runways) would be delivered as per the approved EIS and AEIS; an airport configuration that would support the future growth of the region. However, the prescriptive delivery of the new airport facility has been reduced to a single runway airport, as confirmed in the latest master plan.

AND….

Future growth plans for the business incorporate larger, heavier aircraft and connecting these aircraft to the McDermott hangar is essential. McDermott Aviation have been advised by Sunshine Coast Airport:

“Accessing your hanger in line with future growth of operations and larger aircraft will incur a further cost to you in landing fees and you will have to pay for your own tarmac to accommodate these larger aircraft to access your hanger”

THESE ARE NOT SEASONAL / CASUAL JOBS

McDermott Aviation directly employ the largest number of aviation apprentices in Australia – I think we should be nurturing and supporting and accommodating these industry businesses in accordance with the Sunshine Coast Economic Strategy and Corporate Plan.

John McDermott the patriarch of McDermott Aviation Group has committed to building an Aviation Academy here on the Sunshine Coast to both support the expansion of the business and provide stable career paths for those fortunate enough to be chosen to attend the Academy.

It is my belief we should be bending over backwards to bolster the future Aviation Academy and promoting our entrepreneurial local businesses as a feather in our cap – something we can showase!

McDermott Aviation have been the recipients of shifting contractual goal posts from airport management resulting in a loss of not an insignificant amount of money.

They operate 24/7 365 days a year providing critical services to the community ranging from international medevac retrievals should you fall ill abroad to protecting communities around Australia and throughout SE Asia in firefighting tasking.

Let’s remember who the heroes are dousing our fires of late??

DOESN’T SEEM FAIR TO ME

“SUNSHINE Coast Airport has been billed $3975 and warned it would face costs in that order for every day sand and dust from the runway construction site impacted one tenant’s business.
McDermott Aviation has filed the invoice to cover the cost of its staff having to clean two hangars and water rinse engines of five aircraft and detail their airframes after strong northerly winds sent the dust and sand swirling through its maintenance workshops yesterday.
Captain Mike Becker of Becker Helicopters also wrote to the airport on Monday saying his engineering staff and aircrew were having problems with fine dust in their aircraft and simulators”.

In September, the company wrote to airport management warning that sand and dust were a threat to its maintenance operations.
“We have tried simply closing our hanger doors to reduce the amounts of sand and dust blowing into our facilities however this is not enough to stop the continuous spray of sand and dust,” Mr McDermott wrote.
“As you would appreciate, we cannot afford to have sand and dust throughout the exposed engines and sensitive avionics of our aircraft, as the cost to clean and repair any damage caused by the sand and dust from your site would be considerably expensive.
“Could you please put some environmental controls in place to stop all of this sand and dust blowing from your site and into our hangers/maintenance facilities”.

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