Update on Dunsfold Aerodrome – now gone to Appeal for Certificate of Lawfulness

The Aerodrome’s Appeal, against the rejection by Waverley Borough Council,  of their application for a Certificate of Lawfulness started on 31st January.  It may take 10 days, or less. In addition, Dunsfold Park has also applied  for an increase in Annual Traffic  Movements from 5,000 per year up to 6,600,  and the removal of flight restrictions during the Olympics. They now want to have flights permitted after 8.30pm on weekdays, and after 3pm at weekends, though that is currently not allowed. Local residents are very concerned that if Dunsfold Park are successful in their appeal against Waverley Borough Councils’ refusal to grant a Certificate of Lawfulness, or if they are successful in their most recent applications then Dunsfold aerodrome will have UNRESTRICTED AVIATION ACTIVITIES.  Not even the major airports in the UK have approval for totally unrestricted aviation.



from The Dunsfold Airport Action Group

A).          BACKGROUND

Dunsfold aerodrome (owned by Dunsfold Park) has approval for 5,000 ATM’s (Aircraft Traffic Movements) per annum and has restrictions (see below) placed on it by Waverley Borough Council on when flights can and cannot take place.

During the months of July, August and September 2011, the Action Group recorded violations of these flying times/days and wrote to Waverley Borough Council about each violation. Dunsfold Park’s response was that the flight violations did not occur.

However, we have not recorded any flight violations since.  Our actions are having effect! We are continuing to monitor flights daily.

With the exception of the Surrey air ambulance helicopter (which can fly at any time for emergencies), aircraft are currently allowed to fly from 0700hrs to 2030hrs Monday to Friday, from 0700hrs to 1500hrs on a Saturday and not at all on Sundays.

The recent aviation-related planning history at Dunsfold aerodrome is:

1.   Dunsfold Park  applied in April 2011 for a Certificate of Lawfulness for unrestricted aviation at Dunsfold aerodrome.

2.  In July, 2011, Waverley Borough Council, after seeking legal advice, rejected that application.

3.    Dunsfold Park appealed against that rejection, meaning that the application would go to appeal.

4.   That appeal (a Public Inquiry) will start on 31st January 2012 and is expected to last 10 days.

5.  Meantime, Dunsfold Park has applied  for an increase in Annual Traffic  Movements (ATM’s) and the removal of flight restrictions during the Olympics. 

That application will be heard by the Joint Planning Committee of Waverley Borough Council on 15th February 2012.

The application is to:

  • increase annual ATM’s by 1,600 from the current 5,000 per annum , to  6,600.
  • the removal of flight restrictions during the Olympics, which means that (if approved) flights would operate after 2030hrs in the evening, after 1500hrs on a Saturday and on Sundays.
  • The removal (during the Olympics) of the restriction that 2,500 ATM’s need to be related to businesses at Dunsfold aerodrome.

6.            On 23rd December 2011, Dunsfold park submitted two planning applications (WA/2011/2221 and 2222) for a Certificate of Lawfulness for “Flying Use” at Dunsfold aerodrome. This is again a Certificate of Lawfulness and, like the previous application (in April 2011) is not considered on planning merits. However, the application seeks “Flying Use”. As the original aviation-related approval was for the “erection, repair and flight testing of aircraft”, this application should be rejected as it seeks a new approval – for “flying use”


i)    “It is all about the houses”(i.e. the previous application by Dunsfold Park for 2,600 homes as part of its ‘Eco-Town’ proposal).

It is not “about the houses”. Dunsfold Park are serious about expanding aviation use at Dunsfold aerodrome and local residents need to realize this.

ii)    “The proximity of Gatwick airport and the Gatwick flight path severely restricts flights in and out of Dunsfold aerodrome”

Not true. 

iii)          “Dunsfold aerodrome aviation activities  can’t be increased. It’s too close to too many homes and there’s too much opposition to increased aircraft activity.”

In 2010, the residents and the  local council (Rushmoor) at Farnborough objected to a major proposed increase in ATM’s at Farnborough Airport. On appeal, it was approved, ATM’s increasing  by 78%, including evenings and week-ends.  Also last year, residents of Southend, who had been objecting to major expansion of its airport, were disappointed when the expansion was not only approved but easyJet will handle some 800,000 passengers at Southend airport this year.

iv)           “We lived through the Harrier testing .This can’t be as bad”

Wrong.  It will be worse. Day and night flights (7 days a week) , constant noise and pollution.


If Dunsfold Park are successful in their appeal against Waverley Borough Councils’ refusal to grant a Certificate of Lawfulness OR if they are successful in their most recent applications (WA/2011/2221 and 2222) then Dunsfold aerodrome will have UNRESTRICTED AVIATION ACTIVITIES.  Not even the major airports in the UK have approval for totally unrestricted aviation.

For some reason, the majority of residents do not seem to appreciate the negative impact which a substantial increase in aviation activity at Dunsfold  will have on their quality of life.


Our position is clear and quite simple: We oppose any increase in aircraft movements above the current 5,000 per annum and we oppose any relaxation (for whatever reason) of current restrictions on times of the day and days of the week when flights are allowed.


The Dunsfold Airport Action Group suggest that people living nearby or affected should object to expansion of aviation use at Dunsfold aerodrome, by writing to Waverley Borough Council. This can be done electronically on the Waverley website  or by letter.  The objection must be against BOTH planning applications (WA/2011/2221 and 2222) and must be received by 10th February 2012.

The single most important point that should be stressed in letters of objection should be to note “THAT  THE APPLICATION SEEKS  ‘FLYING USE’.  THIS IS NOT SUPPORTED BY THE FACTS AND IS WRONG IN LAW.”

Further information at  stopdunsfoldairportactiongroup@gmail.com

see earlier

Dunsfold Aerodrome Submits Olympic Application

7 December 2011  (Dunsfold Park’s own press release)

Dunsfold Park Ltd submitted an application on 22nd November 2011 to Waverley Borough Council for permission to temporarily extend aviation movements over the Olympic period.

The extension is seeking permission for additional flights between 21st July 2012 and 15th August 2012 and also for flights on four Sundays during the same period.

The application follows the inclusion of Dunsfold Aerodrome in the announcement on 1 August 2011 by the Secretary of State for Transport on additional airports in the south east of England which will be coordinated to assist with the expected period of peak demand for air services for the Games.

With one of the best runways in the south east of England, outside of the main commercial airports, Dunsfold Aerodrome is capable of accommodating both private and business jet aviation. The location is ideally suited for many of the pre—Games training facilitates which Surrey is providing, as well as offering easy access to London and the main Olympic venues.

A Dunsfold Park spokesperson comments: “LOCOG has acknowledged the importance of local businesses in the delivery of a successful Olympic Games and we are delighted that Dunsfold Aerodrome has been identified to support this major event. We are now looking for the support of Waverley Borough Council and the local community in helping us provide a full aviation service for the Olympic Games. We hope our involvement in the Olympics will also provide other opportunities for businesses in the local area to take part in this global sporting event.”

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the largest sporting event in the world and offers a unique chance to showcase the UK at its best. Capable of handling business jets and conveniently located in close proximity to London, Dunsfold Aerodrome is pleased to be part of the Government’s strategy to ensure the successful delivery of efficient transport services for the 2012 London Olympic Games.


Dunsfold Park aerodrome in Olympic flights bid

19 December 2011  (BBC)

Plans to extend aviation activity at an airfield in Surrey during the Olympics next year have been submitted to Waverley Borough Council.

Dunsfold Park wants to run extra flights between 21 July and 15 August.

Dunsfold Park said the application followed a government announcement that airports including Dunsfold would meet extra demand during London 2012.

Alfold Parish Council has opposed the plans, claiming there is “no demand and no need” for the extra activity.

‘Support needed’

A statement from the planning authority, Waverley Borough Council, said: “Waverley has received an application to vary the conditions on the planning consent for Dunsfold Park.

“The application seeks to allow for additional flying activity during the Olympics.”

It said consultation would run until 6 January and a decision was expected in February.

A spokeswoman for the airfield said Dunsfold would be able to serve pre-Games training facilities in Surrey and also offer easy access to London and the Olympic venues, and was now looking for the support of the community and the borough council.

But Alfold Parish Council chairman Nick Pidgeon said villagers near the airfield were concerned about Sunday flights and extra noise from running aircraft engines on the ground.

He said there was no evidence that Olympics organisers had chosen Dunsfold Park to meet extra demand over other airports and added: “It’s no more than a general mention that they want to use a number of airports.”

Mr Pidgeon added: “We looked at it in the light that this was a one-off request, but we looked and said: ‘Is there a demand? – and we can’t see the demand, and is there a need? – and we can’t see the need’.”


More on Dunsfold at  Dunsfold Aerodrome