Gunnedah Shire Council unanimously voted to not waive a landing fee for Sydney Flight College but instead donate the fee equivalent to Angel Flight.

Angel Flight is a non-emergency medical transport organisation which provides flights for people in rural and regional areas, including the Gunnedah shire.

Plans are in place for 15 aircraft to participate in an air race across regional Australia to raise money for Angel Flight.

The charity race has been organised by Sydney Flight College.

The college requested council waive the landing fee at Gunnedah Airport as participants plan to land there to refuel early next month.

Each General Aviation Registered Aircraft fee costs $15.40, which totals to $231 for the 15 aircraft.

The Sydney Flight College does not operate in the Gunnedah shire and is a public company limited, hence does not meet the requirements for the request to be filled in accordance to council’s community category definition under the fees and charges.

The officer’s recommendation was for council to decline the fee waiver.

Cr Murray O’Keefe moved the motion for the second option given, which recommended declining waiving the landing fees but instead endorse a donation to the charity equivalent to the landing fees from the Airport Operational Expenses.

“I intend to support this because I want to support Angel Flight,” Cr O’Keefe said.

“I think it is a great service and charity and it has got a strong link to our community.

“I think that the Sydney Flying College should be commended for what they are doing but we deal with this issue a lot, [hence], we want to hold firmly that it is a for-profit business.

“I know they are doing something for charity, happy … to donate to them, but [we] do not want to give out fee waivers to for-profit entities.”

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