Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By James Chan
#1734543
By demanding cheaper and cheaper flying, we have been instrumental in killing off our own fraternity.


I think there needs to be more focus on the how's rather than the what's.

Americans did something to enable zero fee landings almost everywhere and $25 handling at the major airports for light aircraft. They do it because local communities got involved and wanted to make it happen, not just GA. They also did it because they recognised the positives that GA brings to their area, and knew that if affordability became a problem, then the industry would collapse and bring a negative impact to their transport network and to local communities. There is also a philanthropy culture. Consequently, the GA population and industry is significantly larger.

Asking for that sort of thing here is seen as fantasy, if not suicide.

Consequently we are left with aerodromes at risk of closing on one end of the spectrum because the landing fees are low, movements are low, regulatory/running costs are fixed, and they receive no alternate streams of funding. And aerodromes at the other end of the spectrum costing 2 to 10 hour's worth of flying to land, park a couple of nights, and be handled due to various inefficiencies and lack of political will.

There are some things here like poorer weather, noise abatement procedures, and higher taxation that we won't be able to avoid. If we want a free and top class NHS then it has to be paid for.

But other things can change. It needs a better political, social and economic environment for it to take off.
User avatar
By TheFarmer
#1734567
Do you honestly believe that if landing fees were abolished, that GA would suddenly fill up with young thrusting new pilots and that there would be a massive resurgence of life pumped into light aviation?

There’s more change of me going out for a Pizza Express with Prince Andrew and Diane Abbott tonight than landing fees making a change to the future of GA.
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By TheFarmer
#1734574
I see you took Prince Andrew out of my fellow diners?! Did you assume he would deny that he was ever there?! :D
User avatar
By James Chan
#1734584
Do you honestly believe that if landing fees were abolished, that GA would suddenly fill up with young thrusting new pilots and that there would be a massive resurgence of life pumped into light aviation?


Doing it alone won't happen. Other things also need to line up, such as flight school marketing and advertising.
I live in a city with almost 9 million residents so it's a big place to tap into.
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By tomshep
#1734602
Even that won't help. Ordinary people don't get pilot licences. They are too expensive for most people to consider and as we know, the licence is just the beginning. You have to want to and the vast majority of people don't. I still think it is a better way to fritter it away than golf or horses though but I am in a minority.
Sure there are plenty of people who would like to, just as there are plenty who would like to sail around the world or go into space. But there's them that do and them that talk about it.
User avatar
By Sooty25
#1734604
TheFarmer wrote:I see you took Prince Andrew out of my fellow diners?! Did you assume he would deny that he was ever there?! :D


seems someone is denying I exist! :lol:
User avatar
By Sooty25
#1734606
tomshep wrote:Even that won't help. Ordinary people don't get pilot licences. They are too expensive for most people to consider and as we know, the licence is just the beginning. You have to want to and the vast majority of people don't. I still think it is a better way to fritter it away than golf or horses though but I am in a minority.
Sure there are plenty of people who would like to, just as there are plenty who would like to sail around the world or go into space. But there's them that do and them that talk about it.


if you think this hobby is expensive, I'd suggest you stay away from motorsport! There are people out there with disposable incomes, just go to a track day at any race circuit and see what turns up. Our sport isn't marketed well to the newcomer. No I don't know the answer. Maybe we should all get behind a platform like Wingly and self promote the sport through local social media.
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By tomshep
#1734629
Anybody can jump into a fast car, scare themselves silly and park it on the drive afterwards to show off to the neighbours. Anytime. It doesn't cost £150 an hour to run unless you are careless with tyres and although you move fast, there is little chance of getting seriously killed. Your contemporaries understand what you are talking about and the static costs can be stilled whenever you want.
Our aircraft are kept out of sight, usually miles away, and need expensive and extensive qualification to operate from a muddy field, like as not. Our apprenti are very aware of the Civic Type R of one of my colleagues but wouldn't even consider flying as a hobby. It isn't glamourous, shiny or immediately available.
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By Gustosomerset
#1734644
TheFarmer wrote: They’ll slowly jump through the Planning hoops and they’ll make a killing. Probably in about 10 years time.


The two principal directors of Old Sarum Airfield Ltd are 70 and 77. They may be dead before they make a killing on that basis.
By Bob_pipedream
#1734649
Britain and indeed most of the west, is falling into the trap of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

When I give a couple of quid to some homeless chap, I do not expect a return. Some bloke in the USA just paid 120,000 dollars for a banana duct taped to a wall... Then someone ate it and they a strapped a new banana up and apparently it still is valid... Most of the arts is pointless, but it still has patrons who endow it with considerable sums of money. In aviation this also occurs when one looks at museums such as Hendon (what is the deal with all the blimin hats?). Vulcan to the sky and many others find a way too.

My point is that not everything makes sense - just look at Ant and Dec, strictly dancing or that plonker Piers Morgan. Why is Gary Lineker worth £2 million of licence payers money? GA does not need to be a strong valid business case, it just needs some sense and a welcoming environment and some benefactors that support it. These benefactors might be farmers who let out a bit of their field, or it might be the owner of an airfield who looks after the runway whilst finding a bit of profit from the industrial buildings. GA needs planning protection and quite frankly we as a society should also call out greedy morons who wreck the local area and jump ship to Bermuda.

One way to help build the defence of GA is to club together with other endangered hobbies. Next time people complain about motorbikes, caravans or even people who waster perfectly good walks in pursuit of a ball that they themselves struck halfway down a field - defend their right. Say it may not be your thing, but the country should be for everyone, not just those that watch football, soap operas or partake in bingo. Point out that the true measure of democracy is in how a country protects its minorities and those that do not follow the current fashion.

Remind those that would ban on health and safety that we are all going to die, it is just when and how we lived up to that point that is the Unknown.

Remind those that complain about noise, that their dreary voice is also irritating as is their lawn mower. They may have a right to peace, but we also have a right to live.

Finally don't moan about LAA fees and membership costs. Give some time to take plane spotters for a fly rather than look at them like they are crazy. Vote for politicians that support all the community rather than the few. If there is room in this country for rubbish tips and football stadiums, then there should be room for a few 400 metre strips of land.
wigglyamp, Smaragd, Tim Dawson and 14 others liked this
By cockney steve
#1734658
The problem, as pointed to by @tomshep is the cost! ordinary folk can buy a dinghy for anything between £50 and £50,000. classes range from stable small dinghies such as the Mirror, (sail,row, motor) to the large family-size GP14, Wayfarer and similar....to pure racing keelboats such as the Dragon- class (Phil the Greek's favourite in his youth) and the Flying 15 (actually ~21 feet overall) buy one, join your local sailing-club that's RYA affiliated, wear a buoyancy -aid and away you go, the rescue-boat will help you when you capsize, though it's a skill you'll soon learn. training-courses are usually low double-figures, insurance extremely modest and club membership for a family is usually under £400, -for which you get organised races / clubhouse/ changing-rooms/showers/ galley and usually a bar....boat-parking and launching facilities are usually a given.

Now look at GA. cheap aeroplanes are about, but the cost of parts/repairs are ludicrous. From what I've seen, even the LAA route involves a lot of mandatory oversight and paying for approval to do an established mod. do something "new" ,or "different" and the costs and hoops/fences/obstructions multiply dramatically.....then there's the huge breadth and depth of training required to get a licence.
Even an Offshore Ocean- Master's certification is far cheaper!So, yes, there's the paradox that a single-seat deregulated has basically no oversight.....oddly, people are reluctant to fly unsafe machines and kill themselves......does that point to unnecessarily overbearing regulation?
Which leads to nanolights....so, build your SSDR light- enough and suddenly you need absolutely zero training, qualification or permits. OK'. I get the "lower-mass, -lower kinetic -energy argument, but that's pretty specious.... I wouldn't fancy a crashing Nanolight around the ear'ole and doubt if a few extra pounds weight would make a dramatic difference to such an encounter. AFAIK, the press has hardly been swamped with talesof injuries or airspace-infringements caused by these unlicenced pilots in their unregulated machines

To revitalise GA, entry-level needs to be easier and more affordable. Who's promoting Nanos to Joe Public? I have never yet spoken to anyone outside of aviation , who has the slightest inkling that such things are possible. A missed marketing opportunity! Again, prices are too high, possibly due to high margins,small volumes and captive supply- chains.
Perhaps the LAA/BMAA merger-talks should be expanded to include the Hang-Gliding association and powered-parachutes. Between the various disciplines they could effectively market at fetes, country-fairs and the like. the GA light glows dimly, hiding it under a bushel doesn't help. :(
TheFarmer liked this
By Bill McCarthy
#1734660
A farmer who applies for “change of use” for an area of his land in order to lease to private aircraft operators may be open to a challenge from planners, developers or anyone who, even if they don't own that land, can make an alternative planning application. It could be argued that if that land is not put to good use for food production, then, it may be more appropriate for a council to slap a compulsory purchase order on it for housing say. Developers just love a large relatively flat section of ground.
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By tomshep
#1734663
If that were true, how would one take the land from its owner without compulsory purchase?
You are suggesting that for example, if a large housing development were applied for on former farm land, it would be possible for me to submit an alternative proposal for a parking lot for flying machines with suitable access.
I have identified a site ideal for the purpose. It is in Wiltshire.
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By Gustosomerset
#1734664
tomshep wrote:You are suggesting that for example, if a large housing development were applied for on former farm land, it would be possible for me to submit an alternative proposal for a parking lot for flying machines with suitable access..


It would. You could. Anyone can apply for planning consent on a piece of land, whether they own it or not ( as Bill McCarthy says). Of course, it would be pointless because they wouldn't sell it to you. But then again, they've acted pretty irrationally so far....
By cockney steve
#1734743
AIUI, A planning application has to be notified to the landowner.

Some 40-odd years ago,there were some fine , detached houses in large gardens Many occupied by lone elderly persons. Unscrupulous developers (Wot! Shirley not! ) would make an application to demolish and replace with half a dozen breeding-boxes. If granted, they would then persuade the owner to part with the property at a little over the nominal value of the existing house. The law was changed , so landowners would be aware of the true value of their holding and if other parties were showing a not-necessarily legitimate interest in the property. Things may have altered with the introduction of compulsory registration on the national land-registry.
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