Arrester bed mooted for airport after Racewars crash

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
**ONLINE OUT** The site of the crash Sunday afternoon.
Camera Icon**ONLINE OUT** The site of the crash Sunday afternoon. Credit: Laurie Benson/Picture: Laurie Benson, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

An emergency arrester bed could be built at Albany Regional Airport following this year’s fatal Racewars crash.

The proposed safety device, which generally uses thick sand to halt runaway heavy vehicles, was included in a Racewars event report set to head to a City of Albany committee tonight.

The report said the $20,000 device could be used to prevent aircraft over-runs throughout the year and for events like Racewars, following Brody Ford’s death in a crash this year.

The report reviewed the 2019 event and found ticket sales dropped over previous years, which it said was likely due to Sunday’s events being scrapped following Mr Ford’s fatal accident.

Accommodation providers, however, reaped rewards.

A survey of 500 attendees found 84 per cent chose to stay in Albany, and the number of week-long stays increased by more than 10 per cent.

A quarter of visitors stayed up to six days, and more than 95 per cent of respondents said they would return to Albany next year for Racewars.

However, City report author Stuart Jamieson warned further expansion of the event could be limited, with accommodation already at maximum capacity this year, and businesses being pushed to their limits to meet demand.

He said some residents also complained of rubber marks and noise at Middleton Beach during the Marine Drive hill climb event, and attendance and sales were down on the Monday at the National Anzac Centre and the Princess Royal Forts.

Mr Jamieson recommended the City negotiate funding support to assist the event running until 2022.

“The Racewars’ event at the airport injected an estimated $9.7 million into our economy in 2017 and 2018,” he said.

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