Sunday 19 May 2013 12:16 UTC
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I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the sudden closure of Bembridge Airport to non-resident aircraft.
I have flown there regularly. It is one of my favourite airfields and a great destination to land away from home for the long weekend. The last few times I have been there, the airport has been packed full of aircraft.
As I understand, the airport management company and the landowner could not come to an agreement.
Following the successful re-opening of Lee On Solent, is AOPA in a position to investigate this seemingly bizarre behaviour and to re-open this airport?
It is not fair that a landowner should choose to impose terms and conditions which leads to cutting off an important GA community link, consequently damaging the local economy.
There are some threads on here about it already which may be of use and provide more details as to the situation:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=67912 & viewtopic.php?f=1&t=67605
It's a great shame. I for one normally fly there once a month to see family Hopefully a solution will be reached eventually.
The landowner and the former aerodrome operator have failed to reach agreement on aerodrome management, which has resulted in the landowner taking over operation of the aerodrome. The new operator, Bembridge Airport Limited, has control of the aerodrome and it is they who have made the decision to close it to non-residents.
The former operator remains willing to manage the aerodrome.
Common sense suggests that this will resolve itself as the current position denies the airport an income stream from visitors. However if you put yourself in the shoes of the operator there is an overhead in providing staffing to handle visitors (even if it's just to collect landing fees and man a/g). Unless the income from visitors substantially exceeds the cost of staffing there's little incentive. However there is also a moral argument to say that if you expect to be able to operate out of a field and land at other airfields then you should also provide reciprocal facilities for those who wish to use your airfield.
Luscombe 8 G-BTCH based at Popham. Pilot based in Savannah GA. AOPA UK Exec Committee Member.
The landing fees at Bembridge have been collected by the cafe for a long time. The cafe is a separate business which must be heading for a very grim spring if the visitor issue is not resolved.
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