i know that there is rumours of a wales air link. I know RAF Valley was mentioned and base being at CWL but i'm not sure if aberporth is mentioned. The WAG will be funding a private company to operate the routes.
I could see see a shuttle type service from there to BRS or CWL. But not a great deal more. They would need a longer runway, instrument approaches, full ATC etc. UAV development is where Aberporth is cashing in.
On the back of the UAV industry, QinetiQ seem to have big plans for the airfield talking of bringing the airfield's facilities up to the standard of London City Airport and yesterday, the local paper revealed a £5 million development of the terminal and other facilities
I stand corrected...FISO. And you are probably right. The Radar used for the ranges is just outside the aerodrome boundary on the cliffs. However as I understand it, the NATS controllers aren't permanantly on sight and practically work under another company. I believe they move around the country operating various ranges. Would it be viable for NATS to operate a Radar service for Aberporth airport as well as the ranges on a full time basis? Anyone from NATS Aberporth?
A £5m scheme to redevelop West Wales Airport at Aberporth has been unveiled this week.
Hailed as the "next step" in the development of ParcAberporth, the scheme involves the building of a two-storey 48-bedroom hotel, a training centre, new terminal building and control tower plus two large hangers and a new fire station.
A new access will also be created off the main A487 road.
Local councillors and residents have already been briefed on the plan by airport boss Ray Mann, and now an exhibition on the scheme is open to the public.
The plan was submitted to Ceredigion planners this week.
It will mean West Wales Airport will be on a par with City airport in London and become the main airport for west Wales, outstripping Haverfordwest and Swansea.
Advertisement continued... "This is a huge step forward," Ray Mann told the Tivy-Side.
"The airport needs this infrastructure to move it along, to make it grow.
"With the Assembly's investment in ParcAberporth this is now all coming to fruition.
"We are all in it for the long term and are committed to the project. You have to set your stall out and be very patient."
The scheme for the airport was first mooted along with the tech park back in 2002.
Since then Mr Mann and his company have withstood a lot of criticism.
"We are still here five years later. It is a huge investment for us and it's for the long term. We are not like a call centre that's going to hive the jobs off to India - we are here on the ground," he said.
His comments were backed up by airport manager Barrie Forster.
"Since 2002 we have been building up a reputation. This airport safeguards what is already here - the range at Aberporth. Any development has to be of benefit to the community."
Peter Tanner, managing director of QinetiQ's system evaluation services division, said: "The plans for the airport to increase its capabilities, facilities and services are excellent news. QinetiQ is currently investing in the west Wales UAV Centre at ParcAberporth and these plans provide the basis for further business investment in the region and ultimately could provide valuable employment opportunities."
And Dr Sue Wolfe, the Assembly's strategic aerospace manager, said: "ParcAberporth has always worked closely with the airport, we are mutually dependant on each other.
"This development will be the next step, bringing extra capabilities to the parc and Ceredigion."
All been herd of before. There was a group called Wales Airport Net that included Haverfordwest, Swansea, Aberporth and Pembrey. This was about when the WAG started to look at the PSO route hoping for lots of WAG cash to bring the airfields up to minimal standards. You need for schedule services Fire Cover, Security, Nav aids, published approach procedures and full ATC. Swansea was just able to do all that at quite a cost Pembrey had the published approach but took two years and lot of money for surveys etc. Haverfordwest has looked at a procedure but again has come up with the cost angle. Then just look at the economics where are the passengers comming from where is the industry that needs the service even the PSO proposed for Valley Cardiff is based on a need for a reasonable passenger load.
I think the plans are more to do with the UAV developments especially since Qinetiq's £308 million MOD Combined Aerial Target Service contract was secured. Aberporth certainly doesn't have a catchment to start scheduled operations (except maybe an annual Smithfield Show charter for Dai and his mates from the Young Farmers Club)
West Wales Airport (WWA), Aberporth, as is its correct name, is privately owned by West Wales Airport Ltd.
Depending on the current traffic requirements it provides AFIS or A/G.
The owner is looking to develop it, both for manned and unmanned aircraft operations. In the case of the latter, WWA is on course to be the UK's centre of civil UAV development. My own understanding is that this will be in parallel with development of manned aircraft operations.
NATS current operation in the Aberporth area is as a sub contractor, as an Air Traffic Service Provider to protect operations in EGD201, ie nothing connected with WWA.
WWA and Qinetiq have joined forces to set up and operate the West Wales UAV Centre, located at WWA, to promote and assist with the development of civil UAVs, which appears to be the next area of major development in the civil aviation world. NATS, as a sub-contractor may have a role to play in this, unless someone comes along and offers a better deal!
Well, preparation work under way for the runway extension. But what is it all in aid of? Why is all this infrastructure investment, including considearble public money, being spent on extending a runway that is more than capable of supporting the type of activity at parc Aberporth. Is the cart being put a long way in front of the horse here?