Aircraft keeping residents awake
HAVE you heard the sound of aircraft hovering above Coffs Harbour in the early hours in recent weeks?
Well, you're not the only one.
Jetty resident Rob Chapman is one of many locals who have contacted The Advocate seeking answers into the sound of planes flying over his home, often between 3-4am.
Mr Chapman said the sound was loud enough to wake him up, and instances had become more frequent this month.
The airport's manager Dennis Martin says various factors have resulted in the early landings, including changed weather conditions earlier this month affecting the Great Dividing Range that have forced aircraft to land in Coffs Harbour.
"We're a 24-hour airport and have fairly regular light aircraft movements throughout the evening," Mr Martin said.
"It could well have been night training that operates fairly regularly or an air ambulance landing overnight.
"(Recently) more services have also been operating between Grafton and Coffs Harbour rather than Grafton and Tamworth because of bad weather on the ranges.
"We do ask aircraft to fly neighbourly, but unfortunately we're a 24- hour airport and located right in the middle of town."
During operational hours, air traffic in Coffs Harbour is controlled through Air Services Australia, but
at night is shifted to Brisbane.
Passenger numbers at Coffs Harbour Airport in the 2014/15 financial year were around 350,000 and were expected to increase in 2015/16 with new TigerAir services to Melbourne.