THE Jaspers Brush Airport Action Group has withdrawn its legal action against Shoalhaven City Council and the South Coast Recreational Flying Club.
The group’s secretary and treasurer Michael Watt said mounting legal costs played a large part in the residents’ group calling a truce.
The group, made up of residents who lived under the airfield’s flight paths, had been building a case over about 25 years to stop flying operations and halt an expansion of the facility that would have included a skydiving venture.
The group sought legal advice over a claim of existing use rights on the airfield.
“From our point of view council had been in error in granting a development application on that land,” Mr Watt said.
“We felt existing use rights had not been demonstrated. We were instructed by a barrister that we had a good case.
“It has been a long battle but at the end of the day we had a budget for the legal action and the legal hours were running up and time equals money.
“In the end we had to decide if we grit our teeth and grind on or call a truce.
“We decided to call a truce.
“My understanding now is recreational flying will continue with a certain amendment to flying hours,” he said.
South Coast Recreational Flying Club president David Bennett said he and the club members were relieved to have the battle behind them.
“This is great news,” he said.
“The club hasn’t been able to do anything substantial out there with this hanging over our heads.
“We have not been able to build a decent clubhouse or decent facilities.
“We can now move on with our development consent to regularise the buildings that are there,” he said.
The flying restrictions that come with the agreement stipulate a maximum of two aircraft can fly training circuits at any one time.
Mr Bennett said that was not a problem as “in the past on very few occasions we might have had three or four. We don’t have that many planes and have a limited number of instructors anyway.
“Our aircraft are so quiet that when we were having noise tests done we had to wait for a break in the traffic on the highway because the car noise was worse than our aircraft noise,” he said.
Another part of the agreement involves the formation of a committee to meet occasionally to monitor the situation.
Two of the committee members will be from the Jaspers Brush Airport Action Group, while members of the flying club and Shoalhaven City Council representatives will also be on the committee.
“That’s no problem for us. We’ve opted for the group to speak to us on a number of occasions in the past but they never did,” Mr Bennett said.