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The demolition of Woodford has begun

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The demolition of Woodford has begun

Old 6th Feb 2015, 14:02
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The demolition of Woodford has begun

Good afternoon,

I have posted a number of photos onto our website of the above destruction.


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Old 6th Feb 2015, 18:02
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Remind me again please why this airfield wasn't kept as an aviation resource ?
I realise that nostalgia isn't very valuable in general terms, but surely a light industry/high tech hub and aviation share could have been possible ?


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Old 6th Feb 2015, 18:18
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SHJ - because they could, and it was the easy option bringing in immediate cash.

In reality it was a terrible waste of a valuable facility - a first class runway with instrument approaches and facilities, which would cost many millions to create. And in an area of the country with a large population and no real business GA facilities. It wasn't going to bring in income like selling it for development will, but as a GA business airfield it would be an economic enabler bringing wealth to a region crying out for it.

But to put money in to make it work as such a facility, rather than simply extract money out from developers, takes vision. And vision is sadly lacking in the sheep that pass for today's decision makers.

Short term gain at long term cost; an opportunity missed. But 100% predictable.
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Old 6th Feb 2015, 18:20
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Once production ceased on the RJ in 2001 it was doomed to close one day, the cancellation of the Nimrod project accelerated that day. It was only ever going to be houses after that.

It was mooted as a possible cargo airfield, an executive jet airfield, but apparently this was objected to by MAPLC ,due to the close proximity of each other regarding ATC separations etc etc..

It could have been a repair and maintenance facility or even a Kemble-of-the north but......it was only ever going to prime housing land..
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Old 6th Feb 2015, 21:24
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Is there really such a pent up demand for housing in and around Manchester ? I had family living close by some years ago and what I remember of the surrounding area wasn't very built up, just fields, a canal and a smattering of houses. Did I see a surface fenestrator (or whatever it's called) chewing up the runway surface in the photos in the link ? What will happen to the Vulcan ?


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Old 6th Feb 2015, 23:08
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As Mark says
Far?? too close to Manch. On O6 deps we had to fly None Standard Deps Straight Ahead to 2500 ft before turning Right. However I remember a CPA B747 asking to turn inside the Woodford Circuit.
He rotated/broke right at the 06/10 intersection and went dct Mow Cop.
We also had FOUR C130s do "Tac Deps" off 06 at 0500 ish

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Old 7th Feb 2015, 10:34
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But, for example, (In Germany) Hamburg has Fuehlsbuttel very close to Finkenwerder and the ATC there seem to manage to synchronise the many A380's, Beluga's and A320 family aircraft movements with the many daily movements at the civil airport without undue effort. Perhaps Manchester is busier, I'm not sure, but it wouldn't have been too much of an effort to slot biz jet/whatever flights into the airspace now and then would it ?


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Old 7th Feb 2015, 10:46
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But, for example, (In Germany) Hamburg has Fuehlsbuttel very close to Finkenwerder and the ATC there seem to manage to synchronise the many A380's, Beluga's and A320 family aircraft movements with the many daily movements at the civil airport without undue effort. Perhaps Manchester is busier, I'm not sure, but it wouldn't have been too much of an effort to slot biz jet/whatever flights into the airspace now and then would it ?
Woodford also managed to stage a series of very successful (ie well-attended) airshows, while normal operations continued at MAN. How does Northolt, which is now much busier than it used to be, manage against Heathrow then?

Two words come to mind - political expediency.
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 10:55
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It's not too near EGCC at all, ATC managed just fine when it was active - that's just an excuse, and possible fear from MAN management (who made that objection) of a competitor for freight and business traffic on their doorstep.

It's 'easy money now' to sell it for housing rather than use it as a 'business enabler' for the region where the financial rewards are less obvious, in the future, but very, very real and ongoing unlike the one-off cheque they'll get from Redrow Builders.

The sale for housing is testament to intellectual pygmies with no vision taking jam today.

The Vulcan is to be statically restored as part of the aviation museum. Some work on it has already been done.
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 13:48
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I went to a recent council meeting nearby where I met members of the Cheshire East planning dept. I asked them what provisions there were, in the local structure plan, for the promotion of Business and General aviation in Northeast Cheshire.

They instantly answered "none" .........

I made my excuses and left.
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 16:44
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Yes, indeed the runway is being dug up.
The Vulcan will form a centrepiece of the new Avro museum, which will open later this year.
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 17:14
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Rising population, increasing property prices, & excess capacity

I don't post often but this is the most blinkered, self centred thread I have ever read.
In case you have not read the title.
UK population - 64.1 million (2013)
Rising property prices Home values in England
Avg values 1 yr
All homes 279,985 +5.9%
Detached 394,160 +7.37%
Semi 237,771 +7.42%
Terraced 222,372 +5.37%
Flats 279,115 +5.34%

LPL - I think can take the pressure (WIKI)
Between 1997 and 2007 it was one of Europe's fastest growing airports, increasing annual passenger numbers from 689,468 in 1997 to 5.47 million in 2007.[2] Passenger numbers have since fallen and around 4.2 million passengers passed through the airport in 2013.
As for "Short term gain at long term cost; an opportunity missed. But 100% predictable."
100% right -we all want to live somewhere affordable 365 days of the year.
as opposed to a couple of flights per day.
I am 100% in favour of aviation but having an affordable home is a much better use of valuable land.

Rant = off. Gone to find my helmet, flak jacket and a taxi....
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 19:25
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There was an incident during a Woodford RAFA airshow one year. I was in the crowd that was dutifully following the comentator's advice to look to the left to see the F111 approaching. We all looked in vain, but if we'd been stood on the viewing terrace at Manchester Airport we would have seen a wonderful display given by the pride of the USAF
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 20:07
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I went to a recent council meeting nearby where I met members of the Cheshire East planning dept. I asked them what provisions there were, in the local structure plan, for the promotion of Business and General aviation in Northeast Cheshire.
Cheshire East don't have a plan. That's why Jodrell Bank is currently under threat from housing developers.


I don't post often but this is the most blinkered, self centred thread I have ever read.
In case you have not read the title.
UK population - 64.1 million (2013)
Rising property prices Home values in England
Avg values 1 yr
All homes 279,985 +5.9%
Detached 394,160 +7.37%
Semi 237,771 +7.42%
Terraced 222,372 +5.37%
Flats 279,115 +5.34%
Those averages are heavily biased towards London/SE England prices.
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 20:35
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Those averages are heavily biased towards London/SE England prices.
Not only that, but that post completely misses the point. Calling posters here 'blinkered and self centered' indicates that. How can you say that about wanting a local facility that would encourage business, jobs, and wealth to the area? maybe he's all right and already has a job - millions don't.

You can build houses in lots of places (and developers do!). The tragedy of the Woodford site is the short-sighted destruction of a valuable asset that has a very real need in the area, and would cost millions to replicate.

LPL is not the answer. A businessman won't land his aircraft there to then somehow have to get to south Manchester (by taxi?). He'll go elsewhere. And they do - I know as they bend my ear about lack of facilities in the area while doing business elsewhere. London has Biggin Hill, Fairoaks, White Waltham, Blackbush and several other such airfields. Manchester has a muddy field at Barton that's short and often closed in winter.
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 21:03
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Manchester's biz jet traffic has developed well over the last decade and extra facilities may well be needed in the immediate future but it also has, for reasons we all know well, under utilised runway capacity for many hours a day.

Losing Woodford is something that should never have been allowed to happen but its use as a general aviation or biz jet centre should never have entered into anyone's thinking. BAe should not have been allowed to run down Britain's aircraft manufacturing capacity. Either in partnership with others, or on its own, that company should have been the UK centre of aviation excellence. BAe should not have been allowed to move from airframes to things that go bang, or the equipment to guide armaments.

Apart from the lost value in exports the country has lost massive expertise as professionals in many disciplines have either moved into other professions or taken their expertise abroad.
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 21:11
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Spot on, Philbky
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 21:33
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EGCC is fine for expensive-to-operate bizjets. But the light twin guys can't afford Manchester's charges. So they don't come. They want a 'Northern Biggin Hill' not a Northern Heathrow. That could have been Woodford.
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Old 7th Feb 2015, 21:59
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General aviation is not a low cost operation and Woodford, if the runway, nav aids and ATC were to be maintained to a high standard, would be no exception. Any operator would doubtless aim for a range of traffic and by offering a slightly discounted fees level to Manchester's, the operators would doubtless go for bizjet traffic unless prevented by planning consents. It would not have the wider income offset available to EGCC. All that apart, Woodford is isolated in comparison to EGCC and even the light twin fraternity want good surface links.

The most sensible option would now be to use the spare runway capacity on 23 left, build a non jet executive centre and add to Manchester's income through sensible, competitive pricing. With thought and planning, light aircraft should be able to generally avoid Nimbyland on departure.
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Old 8th Feb 2015, 07:49
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I was surprised to see the demolition of the assembly sheds, as, aged though they were, you would have thought they had some potential for storage / warehousing or conversion into small units. Clearly not.

I assume the office block will remain ?

The lament about the airfield not becoming a GA / Biz jet site.

Just how many jobs would this option have created ?......relatively few.
Were any serious feasibility studies carried out and if so what were the findings ?. There's an unfortunate irony to this suggestion.....called "Avrotec", a good idea, but poorly managed to say the least.

Woodford was always destined at some point to become prime housing land, once BAe decided to embark on a defence business strategy. The developments at the "Dream Factory" alone and associated sites in Lancashire proved as much.

What type of housing however remains to be seen. You can bet it won't include what is termed social or affordable housing however, other than a minimal token gesture.

One final thought about the demolition and new use........Hatfield. So hardly a precedent in Woodford's case.
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