Pilot - - CONTENTS -

Big­gin woes, cel­e­brat­ing Ray Hanna, and the fu­ture of transpon­ders?

It seems a bit disin­gen­u­ous for the man­age­ment of EGKB, with its great her­itage in avi­a­tion and its good rep­u­ta­tion for en­cour­ag­ing gen­eral avi­a­tion at all lev­els, to blow its own trum­pet and then cel­e­brate its cen­te­nary by: clos­ing Run­way 29/11 to al­low Juliet taxi­way to be used to park biz­jets, thus de­priv­ing stu­dents and pi­lots of a safe run­way should the cross­wind on 21/03 ex­ceed air­craft or pi­lot lim­its ban­ning pis­ton en­gine op­er­a­tions, even home based land­ings, after 7pm lo­cal time on week­ends and bank hol­i­days, os­ten­si­bly due to ‘ATC work­load’, se­verely lim­it­ing the use­ful range for a day trip al­low­ing only one train­ing air­craft in the cir­cuit at any one time want­ing to ban train­ing cir­cuits at any time, sug­gest­ing that they should be flown at Red­hill in­stead, thus mak­ing train­ing much more costly in terms of fi­nan­cial and time com­mit­ment. Big­gin Hill man­age­ment is happy to ben­e­fit from the many pi­lots who have made great ef­forts and spent large sums to train and ob­tain their li­cences to fly the busi­ness jets, but not to con­tinue af­ford­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of pi­lots the opportunity to train. It is clear that Big­gin Hill has truly be­come Big Gin Hill! The roar of keroseneb­urn­ing biz­jets will soon be the only sound heard, and the fine her­itage of Big­gin Hill as a Ga-friendly air­field will be lost and for­got­ten. Big­gin Hill will be­come an­other Farn­bor­ough, train­ing and main­te­nance or­gan­i­sa­tions will be­come un­sus­tain­able, and an­other nail will be ham­mered home in the cof­fin of GA.

The GA com­mu­nity at Big­gin Hill has sup­ported the air­field man­age­ment over re­cent years in its de­vel­op­ment plans, and this cen­ten­nial kick in the teeth is a de­plorable be­trayal of their loy­alty. Per­haps BHAL would like to com­ment? A long-stand­ing Big­gin Hill pi­lot One source based at Big­gin Hill has told us that the air­port has also evicted the Boy Scouts who had a base at Big­gin for some­thing like fifty years, say­ing they were not in line with the ‘new im­age’. And only last year the air­port’s man­age­ment was forced to make a pub­lic state­ment deny­ing per­sis­tent ru­mours that it was plan­ning to de­mol­ish blast pens that once pro­tected Spit­fires at the his­toric RAF sta­tion — Ed

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