The RAF Henlow’s grass airfield in Bedfordshire recently announced that a fixed price landing fee has been agreed at £5.40 including VAT for 2016.
Many general aviation pilots may be aware that if permission is granted to land at Ministry of Defence airfields, there is a tariff of charges depending on the size of the aircraft and the nature of the sortie being flown.
This approved fixed price landing fee represents the minimum charge a student pilot would have to pay and has now been extended to any routine general aviation landing at the airfield. Details about the airfield and application for prior permission required can be found in the visitors pilots brief on the RAF Henlow website, http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafhenlow/flyinginfo/index.cfm.
RAF Henlow airfield is relatively free from airspace restrictions, and is open Tuesday to Sunday each week with AVGAS 100LL fuel availability. It has operations staff that monitors the radio as well as a fire fighting response vehicle. These assets mean that the resident flying training school is capturing a growing requirement for flying training, north of London, for Private Pilot’s Licences. Even so, there is still irreducible spare capacity at RAF Henlow for more visiting aircraft.
The Government Report ‘General Aviation challenge panel – final report’ made recommendations to reinvigorate general aviation by reducing costs and securing a network of airfields which provide access for general aviation. RAF Henlow is ideally placed to assist the routine flights by general aviation pilots. The departure of the Chiltern Air Support Unit police helicopters, a few years ago, has allowed their building to be taken over by the Henlow Flying Club.
With 2 significant airfields that conduct air displays adjacent to RAF Henlow, Old Warden and Duxford, they are not always available for routine customers. There remains a gap in the market for an affordable airfield, north of London, which can provide an opportunity for pilots to improve their skills; especially, at weekends. Not many MoD airfields are so readily available at weekends and this is a unique selling point for RAF Henlow
There is a requirement for the additional surcharge for Indemnity Administration Charge. In essence, the total charge to a visiting pilot will amount to a £5.40 landing fee + a £10 Indemnity giving a total of £15.40. This cost is ‘a small price to pay for the unique experience of landing at an RAF grass airfield that has six different landing directions’.