10 Mar 2015 Take-off for new £1.5m Runway!
LFA Press Release
Lee Flying Association, Press Release
10 March 2015
It's take off for £1.5m runway
The official opening of the newly resurfaced main runway at Daedalus Aerodrome and Solent Enterprise Zone, undertaken by Fareham Borough Council at a cost of £1.5m, took place on 10th March 2015
The runway investment has very significantly extended the lifespan of the airfield, enabling for the first time aviation organisations to confidently invest in new long-term premises and operations. It is also an important step towards getting a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Aerodrome licence, expected within weeks, which will help attract more private aviation investment, employment and use.
The project, was funded by Fareham Borough Council and completed by contractors Raymond Brown, which included resurfacing and relining of the main runway, repairs to taxiways and the installation of ducting which enabled a provision for runway lighting in the near future.
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward, who flew on the first official flight, said: "The upgraded runway is an important step towards gaining the CAA licence that will allow a greater variety of planes to use the airfield and boost the already healthy aviation community on the Solent Enterprise Zone. When we take ownership of the site we will be responsible for investment over the life of the Enterprise Zone totalling some £50,000,000 which will boost the local economy. This is in addition to the investment being made by Hampshire County Council and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership in new roads to improve access to the Zone. "
Esther Croft, HCA area manager, said: "The progress made on the new runway is further evidence that the Solent Enterprise Zone is open for business. It demonstrates the confidence partners and investors have in the project's long-term future and would not have happened without their support over the last two years. It's great news for the area and will act as a catalyst for further growth at the enterprise zone."
Jon Butts, Lee Flying Association "LFA has championed an aviation for Daedalus since 2007, in particular the need to resurface runway 05/23. LFA applauds the work which has gone on to fund and approve the renewal of the main runway, which secures the future of flying operations at Daedalus Aerodrome and Solent Enterprise Zone. This strategic infrastructure investment enables aviation sector investment in new hangars, employment and recreational flying opportunities. It also preserves for the long term the locally highly valued open central aerodrome space as we enter a second century of aviation at Daedalus. Construction of access and serviced plots around the North East Apron for sale or long-lease is expected to start within weeks. At last update, three airside plots remained available to the market."
Andy Walters from Regional & City Airports (RCA) said "RCA are proud to be so integral to the building of the legacy of Daedalus. With efforts focused on opening up the Airfield to more aircraft and business opportunities, CAA licensing will crown a very important investment into jobs, wealth and prosperity opportunities for the local community and providing an attractive and prime General Aviation hub in the South Coast."
The improvements to the runway are part of an £8.3m package of investment by Fareham Borough Council at the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus, with the aim of transforming it into a business destination with 3,500 jobs in aviation, aerospace and marine engineering.
The Official Runway Opening was a Lee Flying Association initiative delivered by a team from FBC, HCA, RCA and Fareham College whose new £12m advanced engineering college is now open at Daedalus with 900 enrolled students. Flat Six Aviation provided the specially-requested Cirrus SR20 for the official flight, flown by instructor Theo Amer. Eagle European AOC flew Fareham's Mayor and Mayoress, media and college engineering students on local flights in a C421 Golden Eagle. Hampshire Aeroplane Club flew the C172 Air-to-Ground camera-ship. Aviation tenants provided numerous aircraft open hangars for guests and media to view on the South East apron, where Aerotech (Solent), Bournemouth Avionics and LFA hangars were opened for the visitors and college students.
Lee Flying Association was honoured to have Daedalus 1944 veteran's Fred Belchamber (Fleet Air Arm) and Peter Garrod (Air Transport Auxiliary) present on it's behalf photographs marking the occasion to those who enabled the runway investment to be approved and delivered, as well as local student volunteers who contributed to the Daedalus D-Day 70th "Airmen and Airborne" Commemoration in June. LFA Volunteers provided the additional manpower and transport needed to host and deliver the official opening successfully.