16 DECEMBER 2019
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Under the heading ‘UK airfields face bleak future and need protecting’, the General Aviation Awareness Council (GAAC) last week issued a new report on what it said was the continuing threat to facilities for light aviation around the UK.
The document listed developments at 39 airfields, most of which foresaw the land being taken over for other purposes. Among examples, Abingdon Aerodrome had been earmarked for a ‘garden-village’ style development with 1,200 homes, it said.
In Norfolk, the Yarmouth Heliport on the North Denes with two grass runways is for sale having been disused since 2015 on the cessation of North Sea helicopter operations.
At Alconbury, the major part of the site is reported as already being developed with 5,000 homes, while at Wethersfield, a new prison and housing are said to under consideration.
Loss of a runway and relocation of gliding activities are in prospect at Wycombe Air Park, where a plan for an industrial / warehousing complex on part of the site has been approved by the council, the GAAC report added.
A rare exception is Manston, where the site owner applied earlier this year for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to retain the aerodrome as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.
The GAAC report said Thanet District Council’s definitive 2031 local plan recognised the existing use of Manston as an airport and provided for the DCO process to continue.
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