Development application lodged for helipad on Dickson Inlet


Jereme Lane


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A development application to repurpose land and construct a helipad on Dickson Inlet has been lodged with council and is currently open to public consultation.

Morris Aviation Australia – better known by their trading name, Nautilus Aviation – has submitted a ‘material change of use for air services’ application as they seek to develop the empty block next to Marano’s fuel station at the wharf on Port Street for a helicopter landing pad.

According to the application on Douglas Shire Council’s website, “the applicant proposes to develop an Aviation Facility at the subject site for the purpose of providing passenger transport including connections from the Cairns Airport to support the local tourism sector.”

The application also states that associated uses would include medical transfers, aerial firefighting and search and rescue operations.

Nautilus Aviation currently operate helicopter services at the Sheraton Mirage location 1.4km south however the application indicates that the location does not allow for a hangar or refuelling at the site. The process to allow for these facilities is too complicated, hence why it is seeking a new location.

Additionally, the proposed development will have fuel storage and refuelling facilities, a lounge/waiting area for passengers and caretaker’s accommodation to provide 24hr security.

It is anticipated that up to 22 flights a day would occur from the location.

Morris Aviation released the following statement:

“The approach and departure paths to the site have been carefully designed to avoid residential areas and minimise disruption to local residents. We feel that this will be far less intrusive than the current site at Sheridan Grand Mirage. The design has also taken into consideration the ability of the rescue helicopter to potentially land day and night for medical emergencies rather than be limited to Mossman Hospital, this will assist in retrieval times for patients in the Port Douglas locality. The development aligns with Douglas Shire planning scheme and reaffirms our long-term commitment to the local tourism sector and our industry partners in Port Douglas”.

"Douglas Shire Council is currently reviewing a development application which was lodged in July this year. Once reviewed by Council staff, a report will be tabled at a future Council Meeting for consideration by Councillors," said a Douglas Shire Council spokesman.

The full application can be read here.

Public submissions on the application are open until 18th August and can be made through Douglas Shire Council.

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