Point Cartwright

Site Rules and Information – Point Cartright

Pilots wishing to fly the site must be current members of Sunshine Coast Sports Aviators and SAFA


The launch site is located at the end of Pacific Boulevard, Buddina, near Point Cartwright Lighthouse. Co-ordinates- 26.680497565869505, 153.13806068121215 Google map Link https://goo.gl/maps/T11qB3rexKyUbkXR8 See launch and landing area map below

Wind Direction

South East

Site Rating

PG2, HG2

Site Overview

Point Cartwright is a wonderful little coastal flying site, situated within the controlled airspace of Sunshine Coast airport (MCY).  Although flying hang gliders and paragliders within controlled airspace is usually not allowed at all in controlled airspace, our club has been extremely lucky to have had CASA approve an exemption for us to fly within the controlled airspace of Sunshine Coast Airport but with a number of conditions.

The management and ongoing use of the site relies upon the close and co-operative partnership between the Airservices Australia team at the Sunshine Coast Airport Control Tower, the Sunshine Coast Council, and CASA, each of whose support enables us to fly here, and with whom we have developed protocols for safe and responsible flight here, and every pilot that flies this site

Please note: Flying at Pt Cartwright in breach of the CASA instrument (link to instrument, and summarised conditions below)  is a criminal offence.  Pilots not only risk losing their license, (and the whole site being closed) they may be prosecuted individually.  Each pilot in the air is at risk if there is no one on the ground. While flying in breach of SAFA rules at any site normally has this risk, it is likely that a breach within 10nm of Maroochy Airport would be pursued forcefully. 

Critical Conditions for Flying at Point Cartwright

  1. A sign has been installed on the path up from the car park. Pilots must scan the QR code on the sign each time they visit the site to fly. 
  2. Upon answering the checkin questions from the QR code, you are provided with the contact number for the Sunshine Coast Tower 
  3. A “Carties Duty Person” (CDP) must be appointed prior to operations commencing.  A CDP is defined as a current member of the Association (Association meaning Sunshine Coast Sports Aviators) who is fully familiar with the instrument (see link below), (instrument number CASA EX04/22) their responsibilities (points 5 and 6 below) and is able to radio any pilots in the air if required
  4. The CDP must call Sunshine Coast Tower to gain clearance before operations begin, remain on the ground at launch, and call to advise when operations have  concluded. 
  5. If the CDP changes during operations Sunshine Coast Tower to be advised the new CDP name and phone number
  6. Paragliders and hang gliders are to remain below 300ft and within the agreed operational geographic envelope (see diagram below) 
  7. Pilot in command must fly with an operating UHF radio switched to Channel 14 (frequency 476.750)
  8. Maximum of 3 pilots in the air at any one time – If there are pilots waiting for a flight, be courteous and give others a turn

We can’t emphasize enough just how important the condition that “the Carties Duty Person must leave a contact phone number with Sunshine Coast Tower, remain on the ground and be contactable at all times”.  If you are ever tempted to work around this for the sake of convenience, remember that you could cost us the site –  don’t do it. If you’re on your own with no one to be on the ground – don’t fly. 

A Carties Duty Person is distinct from a Duty Pilot as per SAFA Ops Manual, and as such is not required to have flying qualifications. To make it easier to utilise a companion who may not be a pilot,  but who could still fulfil the conditions of a “Carties Duty Person”, there is $5 Annual Non Flying Membership available here http://sunshinecoastsportsaviators.com.au/membership/join-the-club/

Pilots must accept and agree to the following safety protocols

  • Care must be taken when launching and landing to stay clear of general public 
  • The Pilot in Command is  to be responsible for “see and avoid” at all times. This includes monitoring and avoiding any potential for wake turbulence from local helicopters & GA aircraft on lower level local flights.
  • “Carties” is rated PG2 for paragliders and HG2 for hang gliders.  All pilots must adhere to the SAFA Op Regs and SAFA Qualifications and Training Manual, which of course includes the requirements for supervision of PG2 and HG2 pilots
  • All SCSA pilots are responsible for their own safety in regards to wake turbulence and “see and avoid” procedures; tower advice will not be given on fixed or rotary wing aircraft in the vicinity
  • Pilots note the authorised flying area does not include flying north past the water tower
  • The SAFA Duty Pilot (ie not the “Carties Duty Person”) must notify the SCSA club Exec or Senior Safety Officer of known non-compliant and/or dangerous activities as well as any and all incidents/accidents, however minor they may seem. This enables the club to be on the front foot in managing perception and PR issues, as well as ensuring mistakes are learnt from and shared with the community

As usual, all other protocols and regulations as per the SAFA apply

Map of Authorised Flying Area

Governance documents

CASA exemption 

AirServices Australia Letter of Agreement 

Other Information:

Understanding the aviation context and challenges of flying at Point Cartwright

Photos of Flying at Point Cartright