Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By Pete L
#1845381
Cranfield used to be that busy as well. I guess it also helps if you're doing commercial training. But I do have this vague memory that the real trigger was a previous collision even if the stated reason was number of movements.
By matspart3
#1845383
Morten wrote:
What was so special about Booker that the CAA mandated full ATC?


No idea, but the CAA still has the power to stipulate....

184.— Making of an air traffic direction in the interests of safety
(1) The CAA may, in the interests of safety, direct the person in charge of an aerodrome that there
must be provided for that aerodrome (other than a Government aerodrome) such an air traffic
control service, a flight information service or a means of two way radio communication as the
CAA considers appropriate.
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By MichaelP
#1845389
Cultures change.
General Aviation, and especially its recreational operation is very sensitive to change.
Big business ideas are often unable to understand the importance of the whole package.
Sometimes there’s no profit to be had from poorer pilots flying their group aeroplanes...
A small change in operational policy can lead to the demise of the unprofitable aspects of recreational flying.

But all businesses can be compared to high street shops.
A good mix of shops brings greater footfall, and many passers by.
Sometimes a passer by will happen to bring business to your shop...
An active airfield with an enjoyable positive atmosphere attracts human beings.

I had the Condor Club, rented out my little aeroplanes, and there’s not much profit in it.
But,
It brought people to the field, it brought other business to me.
It brought business to the airfield.
It brought new members to revitalise the Tiger Club.
It brought other owners to base their aeroplanes to be near me!
It brought landing fees to the airfield.
It brought business to Slingsby’s who sold a few more aeroplanes because of me.

People would say that I am not a businessman... Maybe true on one level, I never took more money than I needed then (a mistake I admit).
But not all business is as it looks.
You won’t sell coffee as profitably if you do not make the place your customers come to, pleasant and comfortable.
I charged £5 an hour more for my Condors than the Tiger Club did, and they flew a lot more, because I gave my customers pleasant positive service.

Wycombe needs to look at what it can offer everyone.
Make it a place people want to visit.
It used to be very active, gliding, R22, WAC, and even go back to PPS!
It had a good café.
It was a many facetted place to be.
They need to revitalise the place, make it business friendly... Or perhaps ultimately they want to build houses and retire to Tenerife?

As for the provision of ATC, look at how the CAA has screwed up the LAA Rally in recent years.
Last edited by MichaelP on Thu May 06, 2021 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By MichaelP
#1845397
They haven't, though. IIRC no ATC since Wroughton in the early 90s.

I’d argue from what I’ve seen in recent years...
Who imposed the slot system?

Prior to the Wroughton debacle we read the procedure, listened to the taped transmission (if radio was fitted), flew the procedure, and there were many more movements than I saw at the last rally.
By chevvron
#1845415
Dave W wrote:
MichaelP wrote:As for the provision of ATC, look at how the CAA has screwed up the LAA Rally in recent years.

They haven't, though. IIRC no ATC since Wroughton in the early 90s.

Talking rubbish again Dave; I was a PFA Rally controller at Wroughton in '92 and '93 and at Cranfield ln '94, '95, '96 and '97 :twisted: and it was definitely ATC those years at Cranfield ('98 too I think); I even had a special page in my ATCO License to cover it; don't know what happened when it moved to Kemble though I do know the CAA wouldn't 'approve' any of the regular Cranfield controllers to do it as they deemed it so different to their day to day operations. :whistle:
Last edited by chevvron on Thu May 06, 2021 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
By chevvron
#1845418
MichaelP wrote:
They haven't, though. IIRC no ATC since Wroughton in the early 90s.

I’d argue from what I’ve seen in recent years...
Who imposed the slot system?

Prior to the Wroughton debacle we read the procedure, listened to the taped transmission (if radio was fitted), flew the procedure, and there were many more movements than I saw at the last rally.

That first Wroughton in '91, I sat at Farnborough watching the huge mass of traffic in the 'Liddington Hold' on radar advising all those going there to expect a delay 'due to about 50 in the hold'.
Next year when I volunteered to do it, the system was totally changed, partly due to the PFA's appointed SATCO Richard Barber who went on to form an ATC company called 'Safeskys'.
By chevvron
#1845445
matspart3 wrote:
Morten wrote:
What was so special about Booker that the CAA mandated full ATC?


No idea, but the CAA still has the power to stipulate....

184.— Making of an air traffic direction in the interests of safety
(1) The CAA may, in the interests of safety, direct the person in charge of an aerodrome that there
must be provided for that aerodrome (other than a Government aerodrome) such an air traffic
control service, a flight information service or a means of two way radio communication as the
CAA considers appropriate.

I was told it was the complex nature of traffic; mixing non radio glider tug operations parallel to 2 powered runways with the gliders and tugs landing across the only taxiway to the holding point.
A little later, the CAA did the same at Redhill.
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By stevfire2
#1845448
And not forgetting the helicopters having to cross the glider launch, and both parallel runways, (the grass one also has a heli hold) in order to reach helicopter training area November. Which in itself has a circuit inside and below the fixed wing. And then do it all again to return.
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By Micromouse
#1845481
Morten wrote:
matspart3 wrote: at Elstree for a longer while where the AFIS is more than is really required - and AFIS has no actual value once you're off the ground anyway. (Rumours had it that Elstree's AFIS was due to the owners wanting to 'raise' Elstree to being perceived as something it really isn't...)


I can see it now Elstree London International - the Gateway to places north of the M25!!!! :lol: :lol:
By Middles
#1845595
The PFA Rally was ATC at Kemble was ATC in the early 2000s but the CAA inspectorate decided that the interruption method used for the landing clearance ie 'assume that you are cleared to land unless told to go around' was unsafe. This was inspite of it's safe usage from '91 at Wroughton following the Liddington Hold debacle when frustration and lack of fuel caused many pilots to RTB. The service following the CAA ruling then changed to AFISO.
Booker was AFISO until the early 90s but owing to traffic numbers and complexity the CAA instructed Booker to upgrade to full ATC. Fortunately most of the AFISOs were NATS ATCOs and GA enthusiasts working at Booker part-time and were also licensed ATCOs. This made the transition to full ATC fairly easy as the procedures were fairly similar but the responsibility for clearances moved to ATC.
The airfield had 3 circuits all operating at once, multiple conflicting points, 2 busy fixed wing schools, a hell. operation, 2 engineering businesses and a busy private flying setup.
3 and a half years ago the airfield sub-contracted the ATC contract out as it was becoming increasingly difficult to recruit ATCOs. One of the main reason was that NATS had moved to Swanwick and 100 mile round trip was not ideal. Also the part-timers were getting long in the tooth and, inspite of annual check-outs by the CAA Inspectorate, something was eventually going to have to happen.
COVID happened and all flying stopped. The 5 ATCOs (1 full-time and 4 part-timers) were furloughed.
Discussions between the owners and the ATC contractor ensued and due to the anticipated reduction in traffic post-covid it was agreed that a reduced and regulated number of movements and a change of service to a/g would be permitted by the CAA. The owners then arranged for the service to be provided by themselves and the ATC staff were made redundant.
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