Mon Dec 09, 2019 9:45 am
I find some of the comments here quite worrying, in the sense that it just shows how removed a lot of GA partakers are from the reality of where our hobby is heading.
James - of course you can’t just rip down your house and build what you like. O.S are just going to bide their time, not get too worried about people whingeing about their landing fee being 50p more than Compton Abbas, and whether the breakfast is £1 too expensive. They’ll slowly jump through the Planning hoops and they’ll make a killing. Probably in about 10 years time.
GA as we know it is dying. Fast. I keep saying it, and I know I’m right. Nobody will build new airfields for the likes of us, and the pressures on how justifiable our hobby is from a noise and carbon footprint perspective will only rise over time.
We are also to blame. A certain government decided about 15 years ago that everyone should be able to have everything. People expected everything to be cheaper and they started feeling entitled to it. Flying became something that people were not prepared to pay a realistic price for, and the result is an industry that’s behind the times, using dated hardware, bullied around by red tape, and going nowhere fast. Any green shoots of resurgence are little more than a dead cat bounce.
There will always be the grass strips, the helipads, the small microlight schools, and the flight schools who are so efficient that they can scrape a margin from one of the few remaining functioning airfields. But if I was 22 years old and took a look around a typical UK GA airfield today, I’d see a tumbleweed world that wouldn’t entice me in at all, and I’d look at sailing, motorsports etc to keep me busy at weekends. With an average age in the flying club bar of the typical retired person, it’s hardly the place that a young thrusting entrepreneur wants to take his girlfriend (or boyfriend) if he’s just spent an hour in a 1960’s Cessna 152 with 1970’s avionics and 1980’s seat covers.
As I keep saying, airfields are perfect for development, and the return from them is quite literally pathetic when considered in terms of return on capital employed.
By demanding cheaper and cheaper flying, we have been instrumental in killing off our own fraternity.
Never criticise a man until you’ve walked a mile in his loafers