Fairoaks Airport in Chobham has submitted its plans, which include increasing the runway size from 800 metres to 1,199, to the Airports Commission. It already has permission for 120,000 fixed wing aircraft movements a year and operates only 30,000. In its submission, it says the number of helicopter movements currently totals 5,000 with no upper limit. The proposals states: “Fairoaks Airport is extremely well placed to be able to perform an enhanced role in meeting additional demand for aviation in the south east. However, rather than simply expanding the use of the airport and utilising the additional spare capacity for further general aviation use, including flying school and training use, the airport operators intend to focus on the untapped potential of the airport to support business aviation movements.”
Proposal (not a serious contender, in any way, is at Fairoaks Airport submission to Commission Aug 2013
Fairoaks Airport is an operational general aviation aerodrome located on the A319 between the villages of Chobham and Ottershaw in Surrey. It is also located 3.7 km north of Woking and is within easy reach of the M25 motorway. The airport is operated by Fairoaks Airport Ltd, owned by Albermarle Fairoaks Airport Ltd. Fairoaks Aerodrome has a CAA Ordinary Licence (number P560) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Fairoaks Airport Ltd). It is used as a maintenance airfield but also hosts many light aircraft, some of which are operated by its two resident training schools. Its business centre is substantially dedicated to aviation-related enterprises, including the headquarters of national organisations such as the European Regions Airline Association and the British Helicopter Advisory Board.
“Fairoaks Airport could solve aviation overload”
“Reports state Fairoaks is ‘well placed’ to meet additional demand for aviation in the south east.”
A longer runway and thousands more flights at Fairoaks Airport could be the answer to solving the south east’s aviation overload.
Reports published by the Airports Commission on Wednesday show short, medium and long term proposals for making use of existing airport capacity and the expansions opportunities.
Fairoaks Airport in Chobham submitted its plans, which include increasing the runway size from 800 metres to 1,199. It already has permission for 120,000 fixed wing aircraft movements a year and operates only 30,000.
In its submission, it says the number of helicopter movements currently totals 5,000 with no upper limit.
The proposals states: “Fairoaks Airport is extremely well placed to be able to perform an enhanced role in meeting additional demand for aviation in the south east.
“However, rather than simply expanding the use of the airport and utilising the additional spare capacity for further general aviation use, including flying school and training use, the airport operators intend to focus on the untapped potential of the airport to support business aviation movements.
“It will also stimulate significant additional economic activity in the local area, by supporting jobs in the aviation industry and in supporting services including catering and hotels industry.”
Last month, the Woking Advertiser reported how Fairoaks Operations Ltd planned to build a new 6,000sqm hangar on the site and did not require planning permission because it was classed as general permitted development.
Nigel Eastment, who sits on the Fairoaks Airport Consultative Committee (FACC) as the Chobham Society’s representative, said it was the first time they had seen a long term plan.
He said: “The proposal is to extend the runway to allow larger aircraft to use the airport in addition to an increase of all aircraft movements, this will have a huge noise impact on all local residents.
“If the Airports Commission determines on a third runway at Heathrow, the addition of business jets and more helicopters in local airspace will make life intolerable for Chobham residents.
“The airport consistently operates under a ‘veil of secrecy’ that leads to suspicion and distrust.
“I have been asking for years for more communication from the airport on its operations, a publicised complaints procedure and better control of noise impact on residents – any progress is torturously slow.”
“The Chobham Society wants a viable airport but it must demonstrate that it is proactive in controlling its noise impact and consistent in monitoring complaints.”
Sir Howard Davies, the chairman of the Airports Commission, said the plans for all the airports across the UK will be analysed alongside comments from members of the public.
He said: “The timetable to comment is tight, as we need to move quickly to winnow down the options and reduce uncertainty for potentially affected communities.
“I encourage everyone with an interest to make their views known, to help inform our recommendations on these complex and important questions.”
Commenting on the airport proposals is open until September 27.
Ottershaw Society objects to Fairoaks Airport hangar plan
The society submitted objections to the plans, including that the 10m high development will be in the green belt and increase both aircraft and traffic movements
The Ottershaw Society has added its weight to protests over a private airport’s plans to build a massive hangar on green belt land.
Fairoaks Operations Ltd has submitted a formal consultation in relation to proposals for a new 6,000sq m hanger development at Fairoaks Airport, which lies on Chertsey Road between Chobham and Ottershaw.
The company has permitted development rights for the site, which means they can go ahead with the build without requiring consent from the borough council – they only need to consult with it and can chose to heed its recommendations, or not.
The society submitted written objections to the plans, citing concerns over the 10m high development being in the green belt, increased aircraft movements and increased traffic – it is expected the development will lead to the expansion of both companies using a current hangar on the site.
Society vice-chairman, Brian Williams said the group was concerned the increase in staff would worsen already bad traffic congestion at the Ottershaw roundabout on the A320.
He said: “Any increase in manpower can only exacerbate that situation.
“They have said there will be an increase in aircraft traffic and that will be a concern again, particularly to people in the Brox Road area.
“Our main concern, though is the constant nibbling away at the green belt, which is happening at the DERA site and McLaren, so we are extremely concerned about that.”
The airport has submitted the plans as it says one of the two large hangars on the site, a 6,000sq m unit, is no longer fit for purpose and beyond repair.
The new hangar will house two of the airport’s existing tenants, Gama Engineering Ltd whose staff are expected to increase by 20% following the move, and Heli Air whose number of full-time staff is expected to rise from one to 11.
Former Chobham residents Jim and Joan Dakin, who now live in Runnymede, had concerns over noise from the increased numbers of flights but also had safety fears.
In their objection, they wrote: “There is the danger aspect from trainee flyers who repeatedly fly over residential areas.
“While there is plenty of ground to operate over, one must take seriously the risk attached to helicopters that cannot glide out of trouble unlike fixed-wing aircraft”.
Speaking of its position on the plans, a spokesman for Surrey Heath Borough Council, to whom the consultation has been submitted, confirmed: “Fairoaks Airport is a defined airport and Fairoaks Operations Limited are a relevant airport operator which receive permitted development rights for development such as the proposed hanger development, providing they have consulted with the council prior to construction.
“As such, the council is a consultee only and is not the determining authority for this proposal.
“The council can therefore only make comments on it and the decision to construct is with Fairoaks Operations Limited.”
Loophole’ fears over Fairoaks Airport hangar plan
A NEW hangar at Fairoaks Airport in Chobham could be built without needing planning permission.
A NEW hangar at Fairoaks Airport could be built without planning permission.
Fairoaks Operations Ltd has submitted plans for a 6,000sq-m building to house helicopters and light aircraft owned by existing tenants, Gama Engineering Ltd and Heli Air.
Under the Town and Country Planning Order 1995, the proposals are set to be allowed under general permitted development – similar to a conservatory extension on a home.
But conservation groups and residents in the neighbouring Bonsey’s Lane have been outraged by the planning ‘loophole’ which allows a huge area of the green belt to be built on.
Nigel Eastment, Chobham Society’s member of the Fairoaks Airport Consultative Committee, said: “It is quite amazing no planning permission is required for a such a huge development
“We’re surprised, we thought it was protected as a major developed site. It will block a huge section of the green belt.”
Fairoaks Operations Ltd claimed the new hangar was required to house the aircraft currently kept by Gama Engineering Ltd in the existing building, which is “in a very poor state of repair”.
Heli Air does not currently have a hangar and the new one would assist its desire to expand its business.
Richard Roads, chairman of the Surrey Heath District of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said the permitted development argument was “unsound” and that he wanted a full planning application.
He said: “If this building is constructed outside the major developed site, it will create a very large increase in the present size of the site or the brownfield area.
“There are other ways that this scheme could be resolved without using new green belt land.
“In the early 1970s Fairoaks Airport lost at an appeal for a similar huge hangar. Those circumstances have not changed.”
A resident of Bonsey’s Lane, who did not wish to be named, said the hangar would be built just 70 metres from their home.
He said: “We seem to be denied the opportunity to have our say because of some arcane legislation.
“In theory if you take that to another level there is nothing to stop them building anything and covering the whole lot.
“It will have a massive impact on noise. We bought a house next to the airport so we don’t expect silence but primarily it is the lack of due process – planning is there to protect us.”
A spokesman for Surrey Heath Borough Council confirmed Fairoaks Operations Ltd had permitted development rights for plans such as the proposed hangar development, providing it consulted with the council prior to construction.
He added: “As such, the council is a consultee only and is not the determining authority for this proposal. The decision to construct is with Fairoaks Operations Limited.”
Fairoaks Operations Ltd was unavailable to comment.