Evans hopes air park plan takes off


IMAGINE landing your plane, taxiing to your personal hangar and then walking a few short steps to your apartment to relax after the flight.

The air park concept of residential living within airport hangars, located at an airport, could become a reality at the Evans Head Memorial Aerodrome.

The Richmond Valley Council had reached the planning stage with private investors, just before a heritage listing was slapped on the aerodrome in 2002.

Now everything is on hold pending the outcome of a consultant's report, which will be implemented as a plan of management.

Council's director of environmental development services, Ken Exley, said the air park concept was quite popular in the United States, but was a first for Australia.

There had been 'a great deal of interest' in the idea, as it appealed to pilots from across Australia and internationally, he said.

"When you look at the location of Evans Head, you have an airfield close to the beach," he said.

"Instead of parking a car in your garage, you will be parking a plane.

"It's not dissimilar to a caravan park. But instead of on-site vans, you'll have these hangars with apartment living incorporated."

Mr Exley said the concept had already gone to the heritage office, which had signed off on it as 'worthy of pursuing'.

The air park was only one of a number of uses being considered for the aerodrome, he said.

Other possibilities included the Ballina Ex-Services retirement village and an extension of the industrial estate and effluent disposal.

However, there were no plans for any future resi- dential subdivision.

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