6 Jul 2015 "New Visitors for Solent Seafronts" - NEW Access from Aerodrome
Lee Flying Association Press Release
New access route makes the world of difference to pilots and passengers visiting Daedalus Aerodrome and the Solent.
A very simple grass path makes the world of difference to pilots and passengers visiting Daedalus Aerodrome. Opened on the hottest day of the year so far, 1 July 2015, this 200 metre path enables pilots and passengers to walk to the seafronts at Lee-on-Solent and Hill Head.
For the first time in 19 years of operation as a civil aerodrome pilots and passengers who have flown to Daedalus from across the UK and Europe can now make the short walk to Marine Parade West. Just three minutes walk from the airfield's Control Tower are the ever-changing views of the Solent and Isle of Wight along with facilities thats include beaches, parks, places to eat, shop and accommodation for longer stays in the locality.
Welcoming this opening, Lee Flying Association's Chairman Jon Butts said, "This simple path completely transforms the aviation visitor experience of the aerodrome, local area and the Solent for the better. Having wonderful seafronts and local facilities a stones-throw away, yet unaccessible except by taxi or a very long walk around the airfield has been disappointing airfield visitors and local aviators for many years.
This is a quick win for the aerodrome, aviation visitors from across the UK and Europe, and local businesses should benefit from additional visitors reaching them and discovering our area. Having formally proposed seafront pedestrian access to two previous Daedalus landowners over several years, I am delighted that new owner Fareham Borough Council (FBC) has been quick to see the value in this latest proposal.
Things change slowly at Daedalus but the pace is now accelerating. We hope it will not be too much longer before local people are also enabled by FBC to access their aerodrome in a similar way from the seafront, to come and watch the aircraft coming and going and perhaps one day have a bite to eat on the aerodrome itself. In the meantime I would like to thank local people once again for the very real support they have shown for their aerodrome and also Lee Flying Association in recent and very uncertain years."
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward said "Since we took ownership of the aerodrome we are moving as quickly as possible to increase the attractiveness of Daedalus as a location of choice for aviation be that for leisure or for business. Access to local amenities is a great attraction to airfield visitors and this was a simple, low cost improvement that we were happy to make."
Photo: Adopting a method popular at other european aerodromes for returning pilots and passengers, convenient pedestrian access onto the aerodrome is provided by use of a security code at the aerodrome's seafront gates. Left to right: Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward, Chairman Jon Butts show the way back for Daedalus. Construction of a new road access at thic location is expected to start in 2017 providing permanent and public access to the aerodrome and Daedalus waterfront development site.
Photo: Visiting from Germany for a week long stay this Piper Cherokee was one of a number of visiting aircraft during the path's first operational weekend.
Andy Walters from Regional & City Airports (RCA) who operate the aerodrome under contract for Fareham Borough Council said "I walked with the two pilots who were the first visitors the path has enabled to access the seafront. They were both delighted and said they would be back with family and friends, which is exactly what we all want to see happening."
The improvements to the airfield are part of long term investment by Fareham Borough Council at the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus Aerodrome, with the aim of transforming it into a business destination with 3,500 jobs in aviation, aerospace and marine engineering. Fareham Borough Council will be consulting on their vision for the Solent's Aerodrome and Enterprise Zone in the coming months.
Official information for pilots visiting Daedalus is at the aerodrome website http://www.daedalusairfield.co.uk. Complementary information provided by local pilots for visiting pilots and their guests is at the Lee Flying Association website www.eghf.co.uk.
Photograph above: View from the airfield seafront gate - return pedestrian access for visiting pilots and passengers. © Lee Flying Association.
Photograph above: Beginning of the pedestrian access from the aerodrome's original WW2 Control Tower to the beaches and seafront.
© Lee Flying Association.
Note for Editors:
Lee Flying Association is a not-for-profit members organisation. LFA has been working with local stakeholders since 2007 to ensure that a vibrant operational Daedalus Aerodrome, a historic and previously Royal Naval and RAF Air Station, is retained and becomes the differentiating and strategic aviation asset for our area it can be.
Membership of LFA is open to all who support or benefit from Daedalus Aerodrome and its' ongoing aviation use, safeguarding the runways and infrastructure and creating a vibrant future for the benefit of all. There is also a social aspect enabling members and local supporters to meet and enjoy being on the airfield, enjoy tours, fly, and organise events such as highly successful Daedalus Airmen & Airborne D-Day 70th Commemoration.