All wel­come at Black­bushe!

Pilot - - NOTES -

Not­ing the ‘des­per­ate need’ for qual­ity GA and business avi­a­tion fa­cil­i­ties in the South of Eng­land, a new man­age­ment team at Black­bushe Air­port is seek­ing to at­tract more air­craft own­ers to base their air­craft there, where new hangars and other fa­cil­i­ties are planned in a two-phase devel­op­ment pro­gramme.

GA pric­ing has been made more com­pet­i­tive, mi­cro­lights are now wel­come (pre­vi­ously there was a ban on them) and there is a new ‘more cus­tomer-ser­vice fo­cussed’ team in the Tower. Black­bushe has plenty of tie-down space avail­able and a per­mit­ted devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion was sub­mit­ted in Fe­bru­ary for six new tem­po­rary hangars. The fuel con­tract comes up for re­newal in June, and “ini­tial in­di­ca­tions sug­gest a sub­stan­tial re­duc­tion in fuel prices is achiev­able,” says Air­port Man­ager Chris Gaz­zard.

He notes that, in the past, some peo­ple had come to re­gard Black­bushe as be­ing un­wel­com­ing to light air­craft and even ‘anti GA’. He and his team are anx­ious to dis­pel that im­pres­sion: “Gen­eral Avi­a­tion rep­re­sents 98% of our move­ments… Whilst we have am­bi­tions to en­cour­age larger air­craft and main­te­nance fa­cil­i­ties to sup­port them, re­al­is­ti­cally, these move­ments will al­ways ac­count for a small pro­por­tion of our traf­fic.”

Plans are in hand for an in­stru­ment ap­proach that will be ap­pre­ci­ated by both business air­craft op­er­a­tors and suit­ably

qual­i­fied pri­vate pi­lots. In the medium term the in­ten­tion is to erect new per­ma­nent hangars and build­ings to ac­com­mo­date on-site main­te­nance fa­cil­i­ties. One stum­bling block is that the land on which the air­port sits was reg­is­tered as com­mon land in the 1960s, and this pre­vents the air­port’s own­ers from erect­ing fences, con­struct­ing per­ma­nent build­ings, or ra­tio­nal­is­ing the lay­out of the air­field. An ap­pli­ca­tion sub­mit­ted last Oc­to­ber to cor­rect the reg­istry and re­move the com­mon land sta­tus of the ac­tive air­port has met with ob­jec­tions from lo­cal res­i­dents, who per­haps do not un­der­stand that the large area of land to the north of the ac­tive air­port, in­clud­ing two dis­used run­ways, is not in­cluded and would re­main com­mon land. The ap­pli­ca­tion is now wait­ing re­fer­ral to the Plan­ning In­spec­torate. Let’s hope for the vi­a­bil­ity and fu­ture of this im­por­tant GA fa­cil­ity that it is granted. For fur­ther informatio­n visit: black­busheair­port.co.uk

Artist's im­pres­sion of the new air­port build­ings planned for Black­bushe

New per­ma­nent hangars are part of Black­bushe's long-term plans

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