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Bob the Builder has rights smashed in Cairns

Like the drone wars Bob the Builder is facing a fight similar to that by other #aviation users, when airport lease holders exert untold power on leaders. Goulburn, Moorabin, Mildura; Gympie spring to mind.

 

This article is from the Saturday, 4 Nov 2017 issue of Cairns Post Digital Print Edition.

Bob’s ready to move but he’s in a dogfight

Hangar war pits veteran pilot against Cairns Airport over ownership

A PILOT has doggedly embarked on a mission to remove a Cairns aircraft hangar and rebuild it at Mareeba.

Bob Simpson claims the Aeroglen hangar, for which he paid $60,000 in 2010, is his property to relocate.

But the structure is now in the possession of Cairns Airport after a lease between the airport and Cairns Airport Hangars ended this week.

Records show Mr Simpson had subleased the land from Cairns Airport Hangars since 2010, but he said the hangar belonged to him.

“The lease I signed was for the ground only … but they want to claim the hangar,” said the builder by trade.

“It’s as plain as the nose on your face that it belongs to me.”

He claimed Cairns Airport Hangars had wrongfully handed possession of the hangar back to the airport.

Taking matters into his own hands, Mr Simpson started tearing down the structure piece by piece.

But Cairns Airport then dismissed him from the premises last Monday and banned him from returning to the hangar until after 4pm on November 1. Mr Simpson vowed to keep fighting for the hangar.

“I’m going to start pulling it down again and see what happens ,” he said.

“I’ve got a couple of planes that need a house.

“And I own that hangar.”

The pilot of more than 40 years said rising rents had “squeezed” him out of the airport’s general aviation space.

Cairns Airport’s retail, transport and property chief commercial officer Tracey Groves said Mr Simpson’s demolition work was unauthorised .

“Our lease with Cairns Airport Hangars – with whom Mr Simpson had a sublease – ended at midnight October 31 and the ownership of the hangar complex has now reverted to us,” she said.

“As the safety and security of the complex is now our responsibility , we have commenced building safety inspections as per our standard procedures.

“Authorisation must be obtained from Cairns Airport before any construction or demolition work is carried out at the airport.”

The Cairns Post could not make contact with Cairns Airport Hangars.

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