Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By foxmoth
#1770899
Following on from other discussions I am just wondering why so many airfields are licensed? It used to be that flying schools required a licensed airfield so it was then understandable but now there are very few flights that have this requirement, it does not mean you cannot have fire cover and radio but you then do not have the requirement to jump through the CAA hoops and pay their fees, insurance may go up but I suspect this would be far less than the cost of being licensed.
#1770916
Never quite sure of the reasons why owners go for licensing, but to open the discussion:

    Licensed aerodromes get an ATZ, with all the perceived 'protection' it offers?

    Licensed aerodromes get an ICAO code and therefore access to NOTAMs (although some unlicensed also get this so not consistent) .

    Kudos and status of being licensed?

    Insurance cheaper?

    It allows Public Transport or AOC flights.

    It gives some kind of perceived permanence with local council?

They also get a CAA audit & oversight on a fairly regular basis, and if they are AFIS or above, or AGCS with navaids, the CAA ATS peeps as well!! Ker-ching!!!

Like you I'm amazed at the number of licensed aerodromes who keep a licence. There are a few out there where the hard runway surface is really in quite poor condition...

Seething and Sibson both went unlicensed when the flying training requirement was dropped, and they seem to carry on quite happily. Popham and North Weald too, never licensed..
chevvron, James Chan liked this
#1770954
Much of that seems not worth the bother for just a few AOC flights (and IIRC you only need licensed at one end of the flight), as for:-

They also get a CAA audit & oversight on a fairly regular basis, and if they are AFIS or above, or AGCS with navaids, the CAA ATS peeps as well!! Ker-ching!!!


That to me seems a good reason to NOT hold a license!
Instructor Errant liked this
#1770956
why so many airfields are licensed?


The guidence is here: https://www.caa.co.uk/Commercial-indust ... e-licence/

It is a legal requirement for an aerodrome to be licensed if it is used for:
- commercial passenger flights
- public transport passenger flights
- flying training in aircraft above a specified weight
chevvron liked this
#1770963
foxmoth wrote:Much of that seems not worth the bother for just a few AOC flights (and IIRC you only need licensed at one end of the flight)


That's definitely not the case, if you are Public Transport you need the minimum facilities appropriate to your aircraft / AOC at both departure and arrival aerodrome.
#1770968
JodelDavo wrote:

Kudos and status of being licensed?



Certainly the case for one airfield I know well :wink:

Rob P
JodelDavo liked this
#1770969
Having been there and collected the t-shirt I would suggest that being licensed is completely pointless unless there is a strong commercial reason for doing so.

There are some advantages to being licensed including mainly in the planning process. Safeguarding means that your neighbour can't just build a 50ft tower on short final to your licensed runway. Many licensed airfields have permitted development rights meaning that they don't have to beg for panning permission for new hangars and alike. Licensed airfield operartors also have rights to enable them to deal with trees which have become a problem for flight safety.

For the average GA field in the UK, direct CAA oversight adds little to the equation but takes up a lot of time and costs money. If I were to own a GA airfield today I certainly wouldn't be looking to licence it.

Pipster
#1770981
If the airfield is licenced it means that any schools based there don’t have to conduct a risk assessment to determine whether the airfield is suitable - a minor win, but a win all the same.

In my view having an ATZ is a significant safety benefit as it provides some me protection from transiting traffic. If the airfield doesn’t have a licence then the only way to have an ATZ is if there are AFISOs running the radio - so having a licence is probably cheaper.
#1771009
SpeedBrake wrote:
foxmoth wrote:Much of that seems not worth the bother for just a few AOC flights (and IIRC you only need licensed at one end of the flight)


That's definitely not the case, if you are Public Transport you need the minimum facilities appropriate to your aircraft / AOC at both departure and arrival aerodrome.

I think you will find that only applies above a (quite high) MTOW, certainly used to be the case when I was flying air taxi and how a lot of Jockeys get around.
#1771090
foxmoth wrote:
SpeedBrake wrote:
foxmoth wrote:Much of that seems not worth the bother for just a few AOC flights (and IIRC you only need licensed at one end of the flight)


That's definitely not the case, if you are Public Transport you need the minimum facilities appropriate to your aircraft / AOC at both departure and arrival aerodrome.

I think you will find that only applies above a (quite high) MTOW, certainly used to be the case when I was flying air taxi and how a lot of Jockeys get around.

Try this. (I can't find the latest version)
It's where the requirement for AFIS first started.
Doesn't apply to non-sched below 5 point 7 (which is how the jockeys get around...)
I don't understand why aerodromes which don't need AFIS (or aren't required to provide AFIS) go to the trouble and expense of providing AFIS.


Image
#1771113
Presumably a politically or regulatory reason. Does anyone one know why?

I've always thought the same. There are some licensed airfields with very few movements and some very busy unlicensed ones. If the purpose of ATZ is safety then they should be based on the number of movements not whether it is licensed or not.
Talkdownman liked this
#1771114
I dare say it's changed nowadays but at one time, insurance companies required certain aircraft (eg flying school aircraft used for instructional flights or hired for a recreational flight by a qualified PPL) to only operate to/from a licensed airfield.