LFA Recognised by AOPA
Lee Flying Association was presented with the AOPA Endeavour and Achievement "Contribution to the GA Community" Award by AOPA Chairman Mr George Done at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford on Saturday 14th September.
Pictured with their award on Runway 05 at Daedalus Aerodrome are the award winners :- missing: David Skertchly; Left to Right: Paul Coppin, Frank Thompson, Peter Bentley, Steve Cockshott, Malcolm Barton, Mike Cross, Joan Barton, Tony World, Jon Butts
Able to be present at Duxford on the 14th September 2013 were three founder members of the Lee Flying Association, David Skertchly, Jon Butts and Malcolm Barton. Malcolm Barton was the LFA's first Chairman, David Skertchly the first Secretary and Jon Butts the first Treasurer.
"Over the past 6 years, the Lee Flying Association has played a pivotal role in preventing the closure of Daedalus Aerodrome, Lee-on-Solent to general aviation users and in championing the retention and regeneration of the site as a centre for aviation employment and recreational use. Lee-on-Solent is now a popular aerodrome for pilot visitors. Many challenges, some almost insuperable, have been faced and overcome by the association, several of these having been well recorded over the period in General Aviation and other GA related magazines."
"Contribution to the GA Community" Award.
Awarded to a person or persons who have made a special contribution to the UK General Aviation Community
Over recent years Lee Flying Association (LFA) has prevented the closure of Lee-On-Solent/Daedalus Aerodrome to general aviation users and promoted the regeneration of the aerodrome as a centre for aviation employment and recreational use.
The LFA was formed by the local aviation community in 2007 and, while recognising that some aviation businesses and jobs could not be saved at the outset, was remarkably successful in resolving issues and reversing decisions to firstly restrict and then close the airfield to all (non-police) powered General Aviation tenants on 18/10/007 at 28 days notice, again on 18/11/07 and again on 18/05/08. The Association went on to negotiate non-punitive landing card pricing, and for two years (2009-2011) provided "mini-FBO" enabling access to over 300 visiting pilots - including three LFA hosted fly-ins - while continuing to champion a long-term aviation future as part of a regenerated Daedalus site.
Through multiple spheres of engagement LFA and its' supporters have fostered conditions which subsequently led to the appointment of an aviation company (Britten-Norman's FlyBN) to manage the airfield (01-04/2010-current), central government granting of Enterprise Zone status for Aviation and Marine regeneration of the airfield, significant funding bids for aviation infrastructure, and local authority outline planning permissions which enable such investments to be made .The LFA did not achieve what it did alone but it is true to say that it was the LFA that led and fought the backs to the wall 'Battle of Lee'.
Very much against generally (and reasonably) held expectations the Association has been remarkably successful. Past and present LFA committee members whose specific, significant and collective efforts truly 'made the difference' include: Mr Malcolm Barton, Mrs Joan Barton, Mr Peter Bentley, Mr Jon Butts, Mr Steve Cockshott, Mr Paul Coppin, Mr Mike Cross, Mr Dave Skertchly, Mr Frank Thompson, and Mr Tony World. Rather than being lost for good, a very valuable civil aerodrome with hard runway was retained, is now a part of the UK national network of GA Aerodromes and is supporting growing recreational and employment activities.
LFA contributions to public consultations regarding redevelopment of the aerodrome have been on-going since January 2008 and have addressed proposals for housing, gravel extraction and other non-aviation uses. LFA has been influential in promoting an aviation future through participation in extensive consultations while lobbying and informing various land-owners, local communities and authorities about the General Aviation airfield potential of Lee-on-Solent.
Today Lee-on-Solent aerodrome includes areas which have Enterprise Zone status and hosts a range of General Aviation activities including aircraft manufacture, maintenance, test-flying of locally overhauled MoD helicopters, gliding, microlighting, private and business aircraft, helicopter charter, flight training, aircraft rental and is a gateway for both business and recreational visitors from across the UK and Europe.Investments by aviation businesses and organisations have been made and more are planned for the future by the Aviation Sector - enabled by key infrastructure investments which will enable Daedalus to once again contribute economic and amenity value to both the local and wider area.
About AOPA UK
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association UK is part of the largest association of pilots in the world, with over 430,000 members in over 66 countries. AOPA UK is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to serve the interests of its members as aircraft owners and pilots, promoting the economy, safety, utility, and popularity of General Aviation (i.e. civil aviation excluding Airlines).
AOPA UK provides the vital voice that speaks for the interests of UK pilots, for issues including and not limited to airspace access, aerodrome access, threats of aerodrome closure, pilot licensing, aircraft regulation, and flying costs. It speaks not only to the UK authorities but to Europe and the rest of the world through IAOPA's seat at ICAO, the United Nations body that oversees civil aviation throughout the globe.