New Airfield Management : Britten-Norman
Mr Peter Dalby of Britten-Norman (BN) has confirmed to LFA that BN have signed agreements by which BN, and Peter in particular, will manage Daedalus Airfield from Friday 1st April.
This is positive news for the airfield, creating as it does a very pro-aviation interim two year operational management solution whilst a longer term solution is put in place by SEEDA, its successor, and the MCA. This is the outcome of a very long, and very private, process for BN which has ultimately been made possible by the decision of the Hampshire Chief Constable to close the Air Support Unit - thereby obviating a perceived need for police control of airfield management (no other UK force did that).
Peter and his team are already on some steep learning curves but climbing them well. Peter has had positive meetings with LFA, Airfield User Form, HPASU/MCA/SEEDA, PNGC, Fleetlands, and Phoenix Aviation over the last couple of weeks.
BN will publish a new airfield manual in the next few weeks, even though it will be very largely based on the existing procedures proposed by Lee Flying Association and implemented by the aviation community in 2008 there will be some changes. Lee Radio Air-Ground Communication Service will operate from the control tower building seven days a week from 1st April.
The Crown Indemnity insurance requirement will no longer be applicable. Visiting pilots will need a briefing of some kind - they must be made aware of the local procedures applicable in the Fleetlands ATZ – nonetheless it is BN’s intent to also phase out the need for PPR if at all practicably possible.
The current Pooleys plate for the airfield, instigated by founding LFA Chairman Malcolm Barton and created with the assistance of the LFA’s Mike Cross is to be updated. Jeppensen will feature the airfield for the first time in their guide and perhaps others will follow suit.
The internet rumour mill has generated speculation about a possible BN short term lease of Sandown airfield. Whilst not in a position to publicly confirm or deny that, if that went ahead it is known that would not detract from BN’s management of Daedalus Airfield.