A HELICOPTER made 64 movements in and out of the Trinity Point marina construction site on Lake Macquarie today as noise-measuring equipment monitored its every move.
The results of the noise tests will largely determine whether Johnson Property Group wins state government approval for a helipad and helicopter service at its $388-million marina project at Morisset Park.
Johnson Property Group (JPG) development director Bryan Garland said the test results were expected within a fortnight.
“Today is all about testing the noise generated by the helicopter in different flight paths,” Mr Garland said.
The Firebird 288 helicopter entered Bardens Bay and hovered for 30-second intervals near each of two red buoys indicating proposed helipad locations.
Mr Garland said the 64 helicopter movements in three hours were required solely for the testing procedure, and were in no way indicative of the flight frequency residents could expect if a helipad were approved.
“We have noise loggers on site at several locations around the bay, and Lake Macquarie City Council also has its own sound consultant on site and observing the exercise,” he said.
Apart from determining whether the operation of a helicopter in the bay meets the state government’s criteria on noise, the testing would also inform decisions about preferred flight paths and frequency, Mr Garland said.
JPG printed 5000 notices for a letter drop to inform residents of today’s exercise.
The proposed helipad remains one of the most contentious aspects of the development.
Mr Garland said JPG remained “totally committed” to adding the helipad to the development.
The company planned to host a community information session before seeking council approval for the helipad in June, he said.
In November last year, the Planning Assessment Commission approved the Trinity Point project.
It will ultimately include 250 apartments, a 65-room hotel, a 200-seat restaurant, a 300-seat function centre and cafe around the 188-berth marina.
Most of the 67 steel piles to support the marina have now been driven into the lake bed.