Please note:  These minutes are yet to be confirmed as a true record of proceedings


MINUTES FOR THE Airport Advisory Committee MEETING HELD ON 3 February 2021


ITEM NO.                                        SUBJECT                                                                                                                              PAGE NO.

1....... Declaration of Opening, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY and Announcement of Visitors. 2

2....... Attendance. 2

3....... Public Question Time. 2

4....... Disclosure Of Interests. 2

5....... Confirmation Of Minutes. 2

5.1          Minutes of the Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held 2 December 2020. 2

7....... General Discussion Items. 2


6....... Reports. 2



8....... Next Meeting Date. 2

9....... Closure. 2


Airport Advisory Committee                                            4                                                                  3 February 2021



MINUTES OF Airport Advisory Committee

HELD BY REMOTE ATTENDANCE, ON 3 February 2021 AT 10.30am.


1.               Declaration of Opening, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY and Announcement of Visitors

The Presiding Member opened the meeting at 10.31am.


The Presiding Member noted this meeting is held on the lands of the Wadandi people and acknowledged them as Traditional Owners, paying respect to their Elders, past and present, and Aboriginal Elders of other communities who may be present.


2.               Attendance 

Presiding Member:




Cr Paul Carter


Cr Kelly Hick

Cr Sue Riccelli

Cr Phill Cronin

(All members via remote attendance)




Mr Mike Archer, Chief Executive Officer

Mrs Naomi Searle, Director, Community and Commercial Services

Ms Jennifer May, Manager, Economic and Business Development

Mr Ben Whitehill, Manager, Legal and Property Services

Mr David Russell, Airport Operations Coordinator

Ms Melissa Egan, Governance Officer

(All officers via remote attendance)









Cr Grant Henley (Observer)

(Via remote attendance)


3.               Public Question Time



4.               Disclosure Of Interests



5.               Confirmation Of Minutes

5.1             Minutes of the Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held 2 December 2020

Committee Decision

AIR2102/067          Moved Councillor P Cronin, seconded Councillor S Riccelli


That the Minutes of the Airport Advisory Committee Meeting held 2 December 2020 be confirmed as a true and correct record.




At this time, the Committee agreed to consider General Discussion Item 7.1 for the benefit of the external presenters.


7.               General Discussion Items


Mr Keith Tonkin, Managing Director, Aviation Projects, and Ms Sara Hales, Director, Avistra Aviation Consulting, presented a General Discussion Item.


12.03pm:             At this time, Cr Riccelli left the meeting.


6.               Reports



6. LEADERSHIP Visionary, collaborative, accountable


6.1 Governance systems, process and practices are responsible, ethical and transparent.


Committee Meetings


Governance Services


Governance Officer - Melissa Egan


Director Finance and Corporate Services - Tony Nottle


Executive: Substantial direction setting, including adopting budgets, strategies, plans and policies (excluding local planning policies); funding, donations and sponsorships; reviewing committee recommendations


Simple Majority




Committee RECOMMENDATION and Officer Recommendation

AIR2102/068          Moved Councillor K Hick, seconded Councillor P Cronin


That the Airport Advisory Committee adopt the following meeting dates for 2021:

·        21 April 2021;

·        18 August 2021; and

·        20 October 2021.




This report is presented to the Airport Advisory Committee to enable the Committee to schedule and advertise its meeting dates for the 2021 calendar year.



The Council of the City of Busselton has established an advisory committee known as the Airport Advisory Committee pursuant to section 5.8 of the Local Government Act 1995 (the Act). The Airport Advisory Committee is established for the purpose of assisting Council to fulfil its role under section 2.7 of the Act, namely to establish and maintain liaison between stakeholders, consider policies associated with the Busselton Margaret River Airport (the Airport) and oversee development of the Airport.


Under its terms of reference, the Airport Advisory Committee must meet at least two times per year and report to Council in accordance with clause 2.10 of the City of Busselton Standing Orders Local Law 2018. The meetings of the Committee have ordinarily been scheduled and advertised on an as-needs basis, but officers now seek to schedule regular meetings throughout the year.



It is intended to schedule the meetings on a Wednesday in keeping with Councillors’ request to hold meetings and briefings on the one day, where practicable. The proposed meeting dates for the Airport Advisory Committee do not conflict with other committee meetings scheduled for Wednesday mornings.


Under regulation 12 of the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996, if a committee meeting is open to the public or proposed to be open to the public, the local government must give public notice of the dates, times and place at which the committee meetings are to be held in the next 12 months. Once endorsed by the Airport Advisory Committee, the 2021 meeting dates will be publicly advertised.


It is proposed that the Airport Advisory Committee meetings for 2021 be held at 10.00am, in the Wonnerup Committee Room, at the City of Busselton Administration Building, on the following dates:

·        21 April 2021

·        18 August 2021

·        20 October 2021

Statutory Environment

The legislation relevant to this report is:

·        Local Government Act 1995

·        Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996

Relevant Plans and Policies

There are no relevant plans or policies to consider in relation to this matter.

Financial Implications

There are no financial implications associated with the officer recommendation.

Stakeholder Consultation

No external stakeholder consultation was required or undertaken in relation to this matter.

Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified.


As an alternative to the proposed recommendation, the Airport Advisory Committee could propose different dates or times for its meetings to be held.


Regulation 12 of the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996 requires the local government to give notice of the dates of its Committee meetings that are open, or proposed to be open, to the public. The proposed 2021 Airport Advisory Committee meeting dates are presented to the Committee for endorsement. Once endorsed by the Airport Advisory Committee, the 2021 meeting dates will be publicly advertised.


If endorsed, the meeting dates of the Airport Advisory Committee will be advertised prior to the first scheduled meeting.


Airport Advisory Committee                                            13                                                                3 February 2021



5. TRANSPORT Smart, connective and accessible


5.1 Public transport services that meet the needs of the community.


Airport Operations


Commercial Services


Manager, Commercial Services - Jennifer May


Director, Community and Commercial Services - Naomi Searle


Noting: The item is simply for information purposes and noting


Simple Majority




Committee RECOMMENDATION and Officer Recommendation

AIR2102/069          Moved Councillor K Hick, seconded Councillor P Cronin


That the Airport Advisory Committee receives and notes the Airport Operations Report.




This report provides an overview of the operations and activities of the Busselton Margaret River Airport (BMRA) for the reporting period 1 July 2020 - 31 December 2020. This includes an update on passenger number trends, aircraft landings, actions relating to COVID-19 and general airport operations.



Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) fly in fly out (FIFO) services from Busselton have returned to above pre COVID-19 frequencies with an increase in the overall passenger numbers compared to the same period in 2019. There has been a total of 9,505 passengers for the 2020 reporting period compared to 7,971 passengers in 2019 and 6,958 passengers in 2018.




A total of 1543 aircraft landings were recorded for the reporting period, an increase from the numbers reported for the same period in 2019 (1370) and 2018 (1486). This increase in aircraft landings from 2019 can be attributed to an increase in Busselton Aeroclub flight training and Tigermoth Adventure flights within the general aviation aircraft (0kg to 1999kg) category, and increases in landings in the 30,000kg category aircraft, primarily FIFO charter aircraft during this period. The total number of FIFO services using BMRA is currently 17 flights (34 movements) per week utilising the F-100 aircraft.




The public car park is available 24 hours 7 days a week for patrons and is equipped with credit card / EFTPOS facilities and CCTV throughout for security. A new swipe card system was implemented in June 2020 for FIFO patrons allowing for a discounted rate for frequent Airport users at a flat rate of $6.00 per day. There are currently 675 regular car park users using this system, with an average of 210 vehicles parked per week for the month of December and with the highest number of vehicles parked on one day at 295 vehicles (recorded on 2 December) out of an available 422 bays. 



The focus for the reporting period has been on the implementation of the new CASA ‘Manual of Standards – Part 139’ which was introduced in August 2020 as an industry initiative to improve safety at Australian aerodromes and align standards globally. The new standard has included some physical changes to aerodrome infrastructure and changes to operational procedures. Officers submitted the new BMRA Aerodrome Manual to CASA in early December for review and expect feedback or acceptance by April 2021.


CASA conducted a desktop surveillance activity (audit inspection) between 5 October and 6 November 2020 covering areas such as data and documents, personnel standards, maintenance assurance, works control, drugs and alcohol program, safety risk management, access control and aerodrome emergency response. No Safety Findings were reported, with four Safety Observations noted. The City is not required to formally respond to CASA on Safety Observations, however officers have provided responses indicating the corrective action and when these actions will be completed by. 


The Department of Home Affairs conducted an audit inspection on 8 December 2020 including a site visit and inspection of the terminal building, airside security areas, airside/landside boundary and the BMRA’s Transport Security Program. While some feedback was provided on the day verbally, officers have not received a report or any written documentation.


As at 12 January 2021, the West Australian Government introduced a directive under the Emergency Management Act 2005 (WA) for all persons entering Airport terminal facilities to wear face masks. As such, all staff, contractors, passengers and visitors (noting that there are some exclusions) entering into the BMRA terminal building are required to wear a face mask. Signage has been put up on the terminal entry doors and, when there are no scheduled flights, the terminal doors are locked to prevent access. Signage includes staff contact details for persons who need to conduct business in the terminal building so that access can be provided. 


Other activities at the Airport include regular airside and landside maintenance, finalising works for the Jetstar flights such as sealing the transport operator’s car park, and installing signage and advertising screens.


Route Development Business Cases

With financial support from Tourism WA, in December 2020 the City engaged aviation consultants Three Consulting to refresh the route development business case for Busselton – Sydney services and to prepare new business cases for a potential Busselton – Brisbane route. This work is anticipated to be complete in early February and will be used to pitch proposals to the major airlines.


Hangar Leases

Hangar leases and hire agreements by emergency services and private operators now occupy 10 of the 12 hangars owned by the City of Busselton, with two other hangars being used to store aircraft ground servicing equipment and airport maintenance equipment owned by the City and the ground handling operator. City officers will continue to liaise with emergency services and aircraft owners to secure interest in the existing hangars and new general aviation precinct. 


International Alternate Airport

In March 2019, BMRA was designated as an alternate international airport by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Communications. This allows international aircraft to land at the BMRA when Perth Airport is unavailable due to inclement weather or closure. The City has granted approval for the Qantas Group and Virgin Australia to use BMRA as an alternate to Perth Airport for domestic operations only at this stage. In late 2020, the City engaged Aviation Projects to complete further analysis on the feasibility of providing services to support being an international alternate airport.


DFES Aerial Fire Fighting Capability

The City and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) have agreed to a licence for the use of a section of land adjacent to the southern apron for fire retardant equipment to support the use of large air tanker (LAT) operations in the South West during the fire season. The use of the BMRA for LAT operations south of Perth has the potential to significantly cut deployment and operational times in responding to fires for the region.


Coulson Aviation, the LAT operator for DFES, deployed a C-130 aircraft to the BMRA in December 2020 with a second LAT being deployed to the BMRA for a period of time in response to extreme fire risk ratings with high winds and temperatures in early January 2021. From 1 January to 20 January, there have been a total of 59 C-130 movements (take-offs and landings) in response to firefighting activities.


On 9 January 2021, the Royal Australian Air Force, in conjunction with DFES, requested to land a C-17 Globemaster aircraft at the BMRA to deliver fire retardant to support the DFES LAT operations. The C-17 aircraft operated from the southern apron and, whilst the operations were not publicised, the media, members of the community and aviation enthusiasts attended the airport.


On 12 January 2021, Hon Fran Logan MLA, Minister for Emergency Services and DFES Commissioner visited the BMRA to meet the LAT aircrew and SES teams supporting the LAT operations.          


Regional Airports Development Scheme (RADS) Grant 2019-21

The Department of Transport (DoT) has been developing an asset and financial management framework for all Western Australian Airports to implement.


The Strategic Airport Assets and Financial Management Framework (Framework) aims to enable a consistent, transparent and documented approach to the management of airports across Western Australia.


The City of Busselton has been allocated up to $50,000 (exc. GST) for the development of this framework.


The Framework is developed by a consultant engaged and funded entirely by DoT. Once completed, the City will be responsible for maintaining and updating the Framework and may be required to provide regular asset and financial reporting to DoT, as well use the Framework when applying for future RADS grants. The Framework will also provide the City with an asset and financial management model that will provide information for budgeting and long term financial planning purposes.


The City is waiting for DoT to provide the financial and asset models which are expected in early March when the project to populate the models will begin.


Regional Airports Development Scheme 2021-23 (RADS)

The DoT RADS 2021-23 Scheme includes a COVID-19 stimulus initiative to support the State’s COVID-19 economic recovery. RADS funding will cover up to 75% of the total eligible project cost for successful applicants for projects that can be completed prior to 31 December 2021.


City officers lodged funding applications for the projects listed below. The City has been notified by the Minister for Transport that it has been successful in its application to complete the airside/landside fencing for the General Aviation precinct (2):

1.         Relocation of the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service (RFDS)/St Johns transfer station from the central apron to the emergency services precinct. The total cost of this project is $188,664 with the City’s 25% required contribution of $47,166.

2.         Completion of a general aviation (GA) precinct fencing to allow airside/landside access for future hangar owners/tenants. The total cost of this project is $25,558 with the required City contribution of $6,390.00.

3.         Airside drain netting of taxiways A and B drains to improve safety by minimising bird / wildlife presence on the aerodrome. The total cost of this project is $190,000 with the required City contribution of $47,500.


Following advice from the Department of Transport, the City also submitted funding applications for the three projects above to the Regional Airports Program Round 2 funding program.


Regional Airports Program (RAP) Round 2 grant opportunity

Applications for the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications RAP Round 2 grant funding program closed on 18 December 2020. The key objective of the RAP is to improve the safety and accessibility of airports or aerodromes in regional areas of Australia by assisting aerodrome owners/operators to undertake essential works, promoting aviation safety and access for regional communities.

As the City falls under the category of an Australian local government agency or body and the total project cost is equal to or less than $300,000, the Commonwealth funding will cover up to 100% of eligible project costs.


Officers have submitted applications for the three projects listed above as well as the two projects below to RAP round 2 funding program:

·        Extension of the central apron northern shoulders to facilitate extended taxiing guideline markings and apron edge clearance for A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft utilising bay 11 for RPT operations.

·        Clearing of airside swale drains to improve water flow and drainage of the runway strip to ensure safe and compliant winter operations.


Successful applicants are expected to be notified for RAP round 2 grant applications on 19 March 2021.


FIFO passenger numbers through the BMRA have increased in comparison to previous years and officers expect passenger numbers to continue to increase as FIFO employment recruiting from the South West for the resources sector continues.


Officers continue to liaise regularly with Jetstar executives and operations teams for the commencement of the Busselton - Melbourne flights on 26 June 2021. BMRA is operationally ready to commence RPT services with the exception of the security screening contractor’s team who need to be redeployed and complete final training.


Officers have been liaising with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) regarding the centenary of the RAAF which occurs on 31 March 2021. In conjunction with the RAAF and the Busselton Aero Club, it is proposed the City will host a BMRA Open Day in early November 2021 for the community to come and see the upgraded Airport facilities, and take the opportunity to invite the RAAF to celebrate their centenary at the BMRA at the same time. Officers will also invite the Busselton Aero Club to participate in the open day by hosting a general aviation ‘fly in’ and ground display of recreation and general aviation aircraft. Whilst discussions to date have been preliminary, it is hoped that the RAAF could fly in a mixture of military aircraft that would then be on display to the community. There are also historic links with Busselton and the RAAF, and officers would like to engage with the Busselton Historical Society to see if there is an opportunity for the Society to participate in the event.    


Whilst officers have not prepared a plan or budget to host the event as yet, funding would be required. A request for funding through the Marketing and Events Reference Group (MERG) could be made in April at the next meeting.  


Capital Works

Ongoing capital works and infrastructure improvements for this financial year include:

·        Baggage carousel installation for the arrivals building.

·        Netting of the existing drains to mitigate against conflict (bird strike) between aircraft and wildlife.

·        Installation of weatherproof shelters for car park entrance / exit ticket machines.

·        Line marking of the new transport operators car park.

·        Dismantling of the departure terminal potable water tank – complete.

·        Refurbishment and relocation of training / meeting room (donga) – complete.

Statutory Environment

The BMRA operates in accordance with the following:

·        Aviation Transport Security Act 2004

·        Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005

·        CASA Manual of Standards 139

·        Council’s Transport Security Plan

·        City policies and procedures

Relevant Plans and Policies

There are no relevant plans or policies to consider in relation to this matter.

Financial Implications

Airport revenue at the end of the reporting period totals $676,143 compared to the amended budget of $862,914. The reason for revenue being less than expected is mainly due to outstanding Virgin Australia Regional Airline’s (VARA) passenger fees estimated at $107,644 for September, November and December and passenger screening fees for Jetstar services of $81,180.

Actual expenses to December 2020 excluding depreciation, airline marketing and attraction expenses were $279,224 compared to the amended YTD budget of $475,170. Lower expenses are attributed to delays in the commencement of some works projects and no passenger screening services expenses due to Jetstar flights not commencing.

Stakeholder Consultation

Consultation has been occurring on a regular basis with Department of Transport, Government agencies, airport stakeholders, Department of Home Affairs, Aviation Marine Security (AMS), Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Air Services Australia, Virgin Australia Regional Airline, Qantas Group, the Busselton Aero Club, Albany, Esperance, Geraldton Airports and Australian Airports Association, concerning many topics and issues relating to the Airport.

Risk Assessment

An assessment of the potential implications of implementing the officer recommendation has been undertaken using the City’s risk management framework, with risks assessed taking into account any controls already in place. No risks of a medium or greater level have been identified.


The Airport Advisory Committee may choose not to receive and note the Airport Operations Report.


The airport team is looking forward to an exciting year ahead with the expectation of RPT services to commence and the progression of business development for the Airport including proposals to be considered by Council for the General Aviation precinct and Industrial and Commercial precinct. Officers will continue to provide a high level of customer service ensuring the airport is compliant, safe and security is maintained throughout.


Not applicable.


Airport Advisory Committee                                            14                                                                3 February 2021

8.               Next Meeting Date

21 April 2021.


9.               Closure

The meeting closed at 12.34pm.







DATE:_______________________ PRESIDING MEMBER:_____________________________