Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1802929
Unless you are based at Staverton you will probably not have heard about this. Gloucestershire Airport have applied for planning permission to build, what is basically, a new business park on part of the airport. They have described the space to be used as "redundant operational land" and sneaked the application in without consultation in the airport user/tenant community. If the plan goes ahead it will wipe out runway 18/36 forever (they have said that they plan to reopen 04/22 but not made any commitments on date or circumstances for this). It will also render heli-northeast and heli-northwest all but useless since their circuit area will no longer exist. Moving the heli circuits to the south of 09/27 is, apparently, not wise or possible.
If anyone wants to look at the application, it is in the Tewkesbury Borough Council area and the reference is 20/00758/FUL. I don't think searching on Gloucestershire Airport will find it!
They did this without any understanding of the effect on based flying schools and without considering the needs of our large heli operators who look after most of the country's air ambulances and police forces - including crew training. The loss of income if these guys have to shut down or relocate will cripple the airport and the future may be uncertain. Please join us in opposing the onslaught against aviation.
Link here https://publicaccess.tewkesbury.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage
#1802947
Nobody uses 18/36 except on very rare occasions there has been a great deal of discussion and consultation and I have attended quite a bit of it and it is still going on. The helicopter impact has been known all along and it's an intractable problem and still under discussion too.

The basic issue is do you want an airport and a business park or do you want no airport and a giant housing estate, sadly that's the way of the world in the UK and it's not going to improve any time soon.
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#1802950
Flyingfemme wrote:Unless you are based at Staverton you will probably not have heard about this. Gloucestershire Airport have applied for planning permission to build, what is basically, a new business park on part of the airport. They have described the space to be used as "redundant operational land" and sneaked the application in without consultation in the airport user/tenant community. If the plan goes ahead it will wipe out runway 18/36 forever (they have said that they plan to reopen 04/22 but not made any commitments on date or circumstances for this). It will also render heli-northeast and heli-northwest all but useless since their circuit area will no longer exist. Moving the heli circuits to the south of 09/27 is, apparently, not wise or possible.
If anyone wants to look at the application, it is in the Tewkesbury Borough Council area and the reference is 20/00758/FUL. I don't think searching on Gloucestershire Airport will find it!
They did this without any understanding of the effect on based flying schools and without considering the needs of our large heli operators who look after most of the country's air ambulances and police forces - including crew training. The loss of income if these guys have to shut down or relocate will cripple the airport and the future may be uncertain. Please join us in opposing the onslaught against aviation.
Link here https://publicaccess.tewkesbury.gov.uk/online-applications/simpleSearchResults.do?action=firstPage


Huge over-reaction! I cant think any operators ever move out because an airport closes a N-S runway leaving one, the main one that is aligned with prevailing winds. Far busier airports in the world with one runway where everything works still just fine.
#1802994
The “consultation” only started after a group of tenants got together and pushed - in August. At which point the management found out about the heli circuit problem. Two of the three runways were closed for a long time and one has now, temporarily, been opened. Actually 04/22 is the most “into wind” of the runways but it isn’t open. The big runway is fine if you don’t care about crosswinds at all but the schools have been suffering when they can’t send students out. The helis provide a large chunk of income for the airport that they cannot do without. They have already said they may have to move - after spending a lot of money to come here.
The reason for the development is slightly spurious and enacted in indecent haste to grab some grant money..............hence the lack of proper planning. More industrial development is not actually needed in the area right now and they have no tenants in view.
#1803007
With limited crosswind capability, in the past I have used 18/36 when the runway in use was 27/09. Recently I have not flown on several occasions due to there only being 27/09 open and the crosswind was too much for me. As has already been said runway 04/22 is the most into wind runway and that has been firmly closed for some time with no prospect of re-opening.
The usefulness of Gloucestershire Airport to me depends on having an alternative to 27/09. Although 18/36 is rarely used it is necessary to make the whole airfield work for me. I realise I am small beer compared to the heli-operators and flying schools but who would cut off a major revenue source like them.
#1803060
The plan is to refurbish 22/04 close 18/36 and refurbish 27/09 in that order. At the moment 18/36 and 27/09 are in use. Nobody likes the overall plan and it's worth remembering that a number of business parks have already been built on the aerodrome's historic footprint, but cynical politicians have taken the revenue and don't count it as aerodrome benefit.

In an ideal world the whole historic aerodrome would be a mix of aviation and industry and the numbers would probably work at a P&L level and definitely at an economic impact level, but we don't do value in the UK, which is why we're slowly going down the tubes through penny wise pound foolish planning.
#1803096
I was flying at Staverton for ~45 years, all low- to medium-power SEP as P1. Whenever I used 18/36 (except when with a FI practising xwinds) I'd have been unhappy using any other, because of strong Nly/Sly winds (fairly rare). I have known all 3 to be in simultaneous use: most SEPs on 22 (most into wind), bigger stuff (eg twins and jets) on 27, helos hover-taxiing and at least one autogyro t/o and landing on 18, autogyro needing only the bit S of 09/27 for t/o and landing on and stopping within the 18 numbers (I was in it!). The ever wonderful ATCOs, typical of MP3's lovely people, were fine.

If there were a height limit on the Southernmost of any new buildings (and no houses!) under the 18/36 approach, then presumably ~500m of 18/36 could be retained. Obviously there would be a (now reduced) surface maintenance cost keeping it up to runway rather than mere taxiway standard; but during my years the 'painted as available' width had already been reduced presumably for that reason.

It would be a bonus to retain the 'heli NW' area for hover training, as it would give JAM visitors somnething close to watch :) . Even better would be some new tenant on the development deciding they needed airside access, for whom the airport would agree to provide a hard taxiway past the JAM fence, with a hard apron by JAM. :wink:
#1803127
The closure of a runway is a tricky one. If it's not being used that much anymore and there's opportunity to lease out the land to other FBOs then why not? The economics are clear.

The main thing they should have asked is how many aeroplanes cannot handle the crosswinds if they had to pick either of the other two, as that would amount to lost revenue and movements if someone had to cancel their flights.

I don't know how helicopters use circuits (or not). Maybe a revised diagram will be published in due course. Maybe helis don't require that runway to be there but can keep the same pattern and land on the helipads. Gloucester also has ATC so they should be smart enough to handle and sequence all the traffic as needed.

Personally I'm less concerned when 3 go down to 2, but much more concerned if 2 go down to 1.
#1803128
Yes, but doesn't the US have 3,937% of the land area of the UK?


It would be interesting to see the number of accessible night + IFR ready runways in the USA after adjusting for land mass and population count. I'd imagine the US will still remain a cut above the rest.
Last edited by James Chan on Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
#1803129
kanga wrote:It would be a bonus to retain the 'heli NW' area for hover training, as it would give JAM visitors somnething close to watch :) . Even better would be some new tenant on the development deciding they needed airside access, for whom the airport would agree to provide a hard taxiway past the JAM fence, with a hard apron by JAM. :wink:


It would be a bonus to have any area available for training - something that goes on a lot at the moment. And aviation use has not even been considered as part of the new development............we asked.

Helis don't require a runway but the emergency traiiing that is most of the stuff done at Gloucestershire requires some fairly strict clear areas and distance from buildings and the airport fenceline. This will be wiped out by the proposed new buildings.