Jet airliners could land at Dunsfold Park

20.11.2009   (Get Surrey)
By Beatrice Phillpotts

A warning that jet airliners could soon be landing at Dunsfold airfield has just
been issued by prospective Guildford Lib Dem MP Sue Doughty.
On Wednesday, Mrs Doughty claimed that upgrades to bring in Boeing 737s and 757s
for repair were already well on the way.
Last week, Dunsfold Park Ltd chief executive Jim McAllister said the company’s
immediate focus would be to progress the site’s underlying permanent aviation
and business consent following its failed bid to build 2,600 ‘green’ homes.
Responding to Mrs Doughty’s claims this week, he declined to go into specific
details about the type of aircraft that could be involved in the scheme.
However, he said that the company was "exploring a number of options which will
be considered in more detail over the coming weeks and months".
Mr McAllister told a planning appeal inquiry in March that increased aviation
was likely to be the “fallback” position if the eco-settlement plan was refused.
The aerodrome, which was formerly owned by BAe, has permanent planning permission
for maintenance, flight-testing and repair of aircraft and is allowed a maximum
of 5,000 aviation movements a year.
"Dunsfold is well on the way to securing a major air parts and maintenance contract
on the site and is set to commence the upgrade of instrument landing and positioning
systems," Mrs Doughty claimed.
"This will really increase the capacity of the runway to take a substantial increase
in air traffic which will include larger planes."
She said she had been in discussion with the company, and maps of the airport
she had studied showed that a longer flight path would be needed, which would
force large aircraft to approach the runway low over Cranleigh.
"Although many people have been familiar with flights coming in and out in the
past, these planes will be much bigger and noisier and will have a huge impact
on the village," she said.
"In 2012 ahead of the Olympics, and indeed for 15 months before, the South East
will see a major increase in demand for runways as athletes arrive not only for
the Games, but for training in the UK ahead of the event.
"Heathrow and Gatwick have already put in for increases to flying hours to cope
with the demand and Dunsfold would provide a convenient landing point for athletes
heading off to their training bases across the south east of England."
Guildford and Waverley Friends of the Earth have also been in discussion with
Dunsfold Park about the aviation activity proposed and feared it could be difficult
for Waverley to resist.
"My understanding is that the airport is only using about 50% of the flights
it has permission for annually and the aircraft using Dunsfold now are relatively
small," said branch spokesman Kathy Smyth.
"This contract would take it into a different league and I don’t think it needs
planning permission to introduce these landing systems and bring these bigger
aircraft in.
"The longer term implications are even more worrying.
"Planning policy favours re-using existing military airfields for the expanding
aviation sector.
"I would expect Dunsfold Park to apply for planning permission for an increase
in flight numbers in the longer term and if it opts to focus on air freight then
that decision will probably be made by the Infrastructure Planning Commission
"Waverley Borough Council has been sleepwalking into this catastrophe for our
"It has totally failed to grasp the strategic implications of regional aviation
policy and of having a substantial working airport in the borough
Dunsfold Aerodrome website is at:
The runway is     07/25         1880 x 45  metres         ASPHALT
“Provides a location for a variety of aircraft operations, including flight testing,
maintenance, repair and ancillary operations. Hangarage and apron parking, data,
air shows, photographs, history, and contacts. “
The Wikipedia page is at 
Map location of Dunsfold Aerodrome is at       Map Dunsfold