THE Historical Aircraft Restoration Society has called for Shellharbour councillors to be more constructive and not impede the positive contributions made by the organisation.
Earlier this month, councillors backed an "urgent" recommendation from Cr Peter Moran calling for a report on possible unauthorised use of a building at the Illawarra Regional Airport by commercial operators.
The building does not yet have an occupation certificate.
Cr Moran recently claimed the building was leased by the council to the society, a non-profit organisation.
However, it appeared the building was being sublet.
Cr Moran said no council officer was aware of what was happening in the building because no documentation existed, but a "verbal" agreement had apparently been made with a previous council officer.
He said one of the commercial organisations in question was a training organisation taking students without fire-safety approvals in place.
This meant students could be exposed to potentially dangerous aircraft fuel and fuel vapour.
In response, society spokesman Michael Hough urged Cr Moran to be more constructive and accused him of taking "cheap shots".
"[He said] no current council officer is aware of the goings-on of HARS," he said.
"That is an untruth … The council officers do pay particular attention to it.
"I find it at best disingenuous, and at worst he is being a non-constructive councillor.
"[As for the] claim it is dangerous for people to be in the building, there are no fuelled aircraft kept in that building.
"Council does not own the buildings; HARS leases the land from council."
Mr Hough said the society merely tried to be "good citizens". "We house the rescue helicopter service at no cost, as a way to say thank you to the community for the support we get. We're criticised on all these narrow technical grounds, which in many cases are plain incorrect anyway."
Mr Hough said there was no truth to suggestions the building, leased by the society as a non-profit organisation, was being sub-leased to commercial operators. He said one of the organisations in question, Aerospace Training Services, did not pay rent.
"ATS offers training for year 11 and 12 students ... we give them a rent-free occupancy and they help train the people of the region," Mr Hough said.
The training service declined to comment.
Mr Hough said a second entity in the building was linked to his society and did not make money.
He said it was registered essentially for WorkCover and occupational health and safety reasons and was not a commercial enterprise.
In April, council staff said the disjointed construction of the various stages of the building meant a construction certificate had not been issued.
However work by various consultants, the involvement of Fire and Rescue NSW and a plan of management restricting access to the building meant the level of fire risk for users of the building was considered "reasonable".
The council's director of city outcomes, Carey McIntyre, said the council was "acutely aware" of issues surrounding the construction certificate and a plan was being put in place to resolve the matter.