More rob­bery

Pilot - - AIRMAIL -

Isn’t it a mas­sive irony that the re­gional air­ports, whose whole com­mer­cial model re­volves around air­lines that sur­vive (thrive?) on the ba­sis of the clever idea that lower prices lead to greater load val­ues seem to run their air­fields with the op­po­site in­ten­tion?

I want to go to Bournemout­h: four hours in the car vs one hour in the plane. A quick call to Sig­na­ture in Bournemout­h says that they need to charge me £118 (not sure if we need to add VAT – all I needed was smelling salts to bring me round). I called Bliss who wanted £80.40 which in­cluded VAT. I’m sorry but that is just day­light rob­bery! They must be mad. Bournemout­h is not an es­pe­cially busy air­field. It’s not even a fun air­field to visit

(hi viz hell, high se­cu­rity ir­ri­ta­tion, I sus­pect – no idea, last went there years ago).

Any­way, my point is: why on earth do they not want to fill the spare ca­pac­ity there and in­cre­men­tally add to their in­come streams? It’s bad for busi­ness, bad for the lo­cal area, and it’s bad for GA, and bad for GA safety to be so un­wel­com­ing. I just can­not jus­tify spend­ing £80 for an ap­proach that lasts less than five min­utes and a de­par­ture that lasts less than that. I can af­ford it but it’s just such poor value for money I won’t do it.

Why is there this no­tion that any­one fly­ing a GA air­craft is the avi­a­tion equiv­a­lent of dog muck on the bot­tom of the com­mer­cial avi­a­tion shoe? I can kind of un­der­stand it at places like Big­gin Hill but at places like Cardiff, Ex­eter and oth­ers, less so. Even Ed­in­burgh (pro­hib­i­tive) has large pe­ri­ods of the day with noth­ing go­ing on. Surely some de­mand­based pric­ing would be good for ev­ery­one? Ed Len­nox, Shrop­shire

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