JOHN HABIB remembers when the old Lismore airport was once the transport hub of the region before Ballina and Byron had even considered a runway.
Years on and one new airport later, the old Lismore site stands partially unused and open to expressions of interest as permitted by the council.
Former mayor, Habie Habib founded the old airport but died 18 months ago leaving son John to carry on his last wish.
“Dad was responsible for getting the airport started and he is the founding member of the Lismore airport,” said John.
“He flew model planes when he was young and our family has a history of aviation.
“When I heard about the airport being open to expressions of interest, a number of people contacted me asking what was going to happen,” he said.
Worried the airport may fall short of its purpose, John only hopes the current expression of interest will hope revive the aviation site and complete his father’s last wish.
“My father wanted the airport to be used for aviation industries, no other, in order to promote the Lismore economy,” said John.
“I would like to see it be used for emergency services, medical flights and other aviation purposes, not for it to just sit there.
“I was going through Dad’s papers and I found he wished to have this aviation-based and I want to continue this for him,” John said.
Luckily the council has similar interests.
One of the conditions of the tender of the land is that it follows certain guidelines, similar to those of Habie Habib’s wish.
“The old airport has put out an expression of interest looking for people to use the land for purely aviation purposes,” Lismore City Council manager of corporate services Simon Adcock said.
The new Lismore airport superseded the former with its opening in 2000.