LFA Continues to Champion Aviation as The Way Forward

Using the airfield infrastructure once again as an economic and recreational hub for the local area and a strategic access point for the wider area.

The future of Daedalus is under everyones nose - continuing as an active airfield, properly opened up on a modest scale to provide aviation and engineering jobs, recreational amenities, with business and private access by air (non-airline) to this beautiful and investment-worthy part of the country.

Operational airfield use is how to retain open-space, help reverse peninsula traffic flows, without adding significantly to load on existing local infrastructure. These and many other local factors are aligned to ultimately determine that Daedalus' most valued, valuable and unique contribution are to be had by actually utilising its aviation infrastracture, even modestly.

Building yet another housing estate or industrial estate on the peninsula is not the way forward and this is widely known. To also to squander significant airfield infrastructure, the like of which will almost certainly never be constructed again in Hampshire, would be to destroy a facility which should be being used to the benefit of the economoy and people of the local and wider area.

 

There is 'low hanging fruit' - aviation, engineering and administration jobs can be brought onto the airfield much more quickly than waiting for a new road to be built from Broom Way to Ross House. It is the basics that are required i.e. re-instate reliable electricity supply to selected premises, that is required to bring the next jobs to the airfield very quickly.

Much of the championing of aviation that the LFA does is done privately and in confidence, providing aviation and 'on the ground' insights, local leaders tours, or access to aviation expertise/solutions which the agencies/organisations themselves do not naturally have or otherwise access.

 

LFA does not publicise the materials it generates in support of aviation at Lee, but some of those provided to SEEDA in particular, the Daedalus Strategy Group, Local Councils, and other agencies have been collated here. These give a good introduction to the opportunites and requirements for a vibrant aviation sector at Daedalus; as we re-visit them we see some have become a reality already and others remain as steps to be taken toward a positive future for Daedalus and Hampshire.

 

LFA and its partner organisations has been able to resolve 'intractable safety and cost issues', and identify opportunities and pragmatic solutions to problems which has meant the airfield has remained active despite a 28 day closure notice (announced by SEEDA on 18 October 2007) which destroyed long-standing aviation businesses or exported their aviation and engineering jobs out of Daedalus and Hampshire.

Against all expectations that truly needless situation was turned around by LFA and its many partners after seven months intense volunteer work, and a five-figure legal bill funded by LFA members. There has been a good resolution, and steady progress made during the period May 2008-June 2010. The fleet of locally based business and private recreational aircraft has been recovering and hangars which had been given over to non-aviation use are largely back in aviation use.

This has been achieved without public expenditure and without loss of priority for the Rescue Helicopters, the Hampshire Police Air Support Unit aeroplane, or adversely affecting the Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centres launch rate. Britten-Norman have worked hard to bring aircraft manufacturing and maintenance facilities to the airfield and have been supported by SEEDA and the Maritime Coastgaurd Agency in doing so. This, in a nutshell, is how the regeneration of aviation at Daedalus has really begun, from the grass-roots.

 

The championing of "win-win" aviation for all at Lee-On-Solent / Daedalus airfield continues...

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Q: Why Lee Flying Association (LFA) rather than Daedalus Flying Association (DFA)  A: Nationally, in the civil aviation sector, Daedalus is known as Lee-On-Solent Airfield. The future is in civil general aviation, which includes defence and other government aviaton contractors - effectively everything except airliners. Locally the airfield will always be known as Deadalus.