Keep PNGC at Daedalus Airfield
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As you may or may not be aware Fareham Borough Council are currently trying to commercialise Daedalus airfield, much to the expense of local and charitable flying clubs such as Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre (PNGC) of which I am a regular member of. Despite the name, the centre is open to membership from civilians as well as service personnel – with the split being roughly 50-50.
FBC has given eviction notice for PNGC’s hangar and clubhouse for 31 May – and is asking for rent to be paid at a newly built hangar – which as a charity we can simply not afford nor make viable. Countless young people such as myself have made use of the facilities. Its enabled many youth members to grow as a person, whilst developing necessary life skills. It is an asset to the local community.
FBC has restricted our operations, ceasing winch launching – which was the cheapest and easiest way of achieving the charitable aims of the organisation. They put this down to ‘Safety issues’, and the ‘CAA Airfield License’ being put into jeopardy. Despite their claim, the Civil Aviation Authority has not said anything of the sort. They have also forced the charity to buy fuel exclusively from them, despite us having a cheaper source available. This loss of income plus increased expenditure and increased hangarage costs makes PNGC unsustainable – and would go bankrupt quickly.
Unfortunately, gliding does not fit in with FBC’s vision of a commercial airport, or a business airport hub. It isn’t just PNGC that are facing this dilemma either- other operators have already left the field as they could not afford the excessive rent FBC was demanding for a new hangar. I am sure the majority of Fareham and Gosport residents do not want a quiet general aviation airfield to turn into a commercial or business jet field – even if there was a demand for it (Southampton is better placed) and all the extra traffic this would bring to our already crowded peninsula. Meanwhile gliding is practically silent and eco-friendly. The more people who sign – the better chance we have to keep this wonderful charity alive which does so much for young people.
Thank you for taking the time to read, and for your support to keep PNGC alive at Daedalus.
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