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Reubens take on RAF in dogfight over Northolt

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Reubens take on RAF in dogfight over Northolt

Old 4th Jun 2014, 06:05
  #21 (permalink)  
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The use of the permissive verb "should" is common to the MAA documentation and EASA's design specifications (as "soft law" allowing proportionate and appropriate application of the regulation). You are right in saying that Defence Estates, or Defence Infrastructure Organaisation, have adopted CAP 168 almost verbatim; intermingled with ICAO standards and recommended practices, (with some obvious differences where there is no direct civil equivalent), although they quote ICAO Annex 14 as the source in the AIP and the Military Aviation Aerodromes Standards and Criteria document (JSP 554 replacement). That said, it may be the case that it is not possible or feasible to attain the aforementioned regulatory requirements - local topography could be an inhibiting factor, lack of adequate funding another. There may be no perceived need to comply - as in Roland's analogy with Nimrod at Gibraltar; ain't broke, don't fix it (which would probably get a frosty reception from the man in the grey wig).

Whereas ICAO uses the prescriptive "shall" in standards, but not in recommended practices, CAP 168 uses "should", but states at the outset that "should" means "shall". EASA uses "should throughtout the aerodrome design specifications to allow flexibility for all member states.

Every aerodrome should have an Aerodrome Manual as their exposition on technical administration, operational procedures, aerodrome characteristics, visual aids, RFFS and much more, and it is the prime safety assurance document for that aerodrome. As each aerodrome is in some way different from all others, the AD Manual is a discrete document for that particular location, and as such is the master document. The IAIP contains higher level regulatory material (AD.1) derived from the ANO and CAA, but the specific aerodrome entry (AD.2) is compiled from data in the aerodrome's manual.

Hope that's been of some help.

Mister B

Last edited by HTB; 4th Jun 2014 at 11:05. Reason: korrecting some spilling orrers wot I did nut splot befour
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 08:05
  #22 (permalink)  
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Double standards

It's quite interesting to see the bun fight over the differing standards between the civil and military standards at UK airfields and the potential for a court action because of it yet if the same civil standards were applied to the flights at the destination airfields there would be a lot of empty Greek hotels and disappointed holiday makers.

This court action is about money not safety.
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Old 4th Jun 2014, 11:48
  #23 (permalink)  
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Indeed, it's about the vast sums of money spent at the likes of Biggin, Farnborough and Oxford to meet safety standards and full compliance imposed upon them whilst roughly 40 business aviation movements a day take place at NHT simply ignoring the disparity in standards normally applicable in the civil world - because they can, as things currently stand.

The challenge is to the status quo, to say that this is not how it should be, whereby this city centre airport has turned over recent years into a predominantly 'commercial' airport in terms of dominant usage by default.
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 18:42
  #24 (permalink)  
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Northolt and other MoD establishments - Charter AC


Could see a few changes with Charter aircraft now
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 19:00
  #25 (permalink)  
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Wonder if this could be extended to other civil airfields with significant civil moves?
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 19:22
  #26 (permalink)  
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Could be more than a trifle embarrassing seeing as by far the majority of flights into and out of Northolt are privately owned biz-jets.

Actually, with the 125's being retired in April without replacement, how on earth can the MoD justify retaining Northolt merely for 3 146's, a helicopter and few Islanders?
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 22:17
  #27 (permalink)  
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Nice article written by Curtis et al with the spin centred on their airfield businesses - this would be the same gent that has agreed to save the St George's Chapel!

The MoD is not regulated by DfT and the SofS for Defence has accepted the risk of running Military Aerodromes as much as the SofS for Transport has accepted the risk for running Civil Aerodromes. To outlaw civil aircraft landing at mil aerodromes is as daft as outlawing mil aircraft landing at civil aerodromes; and if you want to pick holes in airfield design standards there are as many differences in the CAA's CAP168 as there are in the MAA's Manual of Aerodrome Design & Safeguarding (MADS) where the military are MORE restrictive as there is in the civilian document.

Sour grapes from airfields too far away from London...

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Old 24th Jan 2015, 22:40
  #28 (permalink)  
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Sour grapes aside, what are the real differences?

It only mentions runoff areas, but this seems an odd difference to pick on. It seems Biggin itself is rather close to the A233 at one end anyway. Pot and kettle? Is Northolt really any worse than Southampton in this respect?

Are there any real recurring cost differences that put the commercial fields at a genuine competitive disadvantage (ignoring the attractive location)?
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 01:56
  #29 (permalink)  
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Never mind Northolt.

Is BZZ up to civil standards? In my time there, there were plenty of civil airliners and freighters using it. Probably under military contract, but does that in itself make it a military flight in the eyes of the court?

I remember the old trooping flights from Luton on Britannia (airline, not aircraft!). RR flight code, so in theory a military flight. But I would think that even if it was a military-classified flight, the courts would make mincemeat of the case if the actual operator was a civvy airline using civvy airliners.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 07:33
  #30 (permalink)  
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I remember the old trooping flights from Luton on Britannia (airline, not aircraft!). RR flight code,
RR flight code? Oh really? The many that I operated all had BY flight numbers.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 10:03
  #31 (permalink)  

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Seems that Biggin Hill are rubbing their hands with glee and anticipation over this and not surprisingly. If RAF Northolt were to be outlawed for bizjet use, they would obviously hope to reap some of the benefit from increased movements.

Problem with BH is that the road links to/from London are poor. The recently advertised helicopter shuttle from BH to and from London Heliport Battersea, (a snip at £2300 plus taxes), might appeal to some. But if Battersea, a wholly private landing place, were to close, what then?

Why not open up a new heliport at London City? Is it time to revisit the long time ban on helicopters operating from there?
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 10:56
  #32 (permalink)  
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The company (the Reuban brothers) who own Biggin Hill also own London Oxford at Kidlington, therefore have most to gain, by Northolt not being able to accept civil flights.

It only mentions runoff areas, but this seems an odd difference to pick on. It seems Biggin itself is rather close to the A233 at one end anyway. Pot and kettle? Is Northolt really any worse than Southampton in this respect?
Look at google maps for the run off at their other airfield at Oxford.

By this ruling they will control 66% of the biz jet traffic for the London area, Farnbrough is a little too far away. I suspect the MoD will appeal this decision.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 11:02
  #33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by kenparry View Post
RR flight code? Oh really? The many that I operated all had BY flight numbers.
Yes, really. From Luton to GŁtersloh and Wildenrath. Overnight at Hendon, early morning flight from LTN to Germany. RAF and/or RCT movers at both ends, RR flight code. This would have been 1985ish. Not being RAF myself, I found it a little weird at Wildenrath with warry-looking Harriers on the airfield and a white whale of a BY 737 among them.

Edited to add: Thinking about it, perhaps we are both right. From the operator's perspective, just another flight, so a BY flight number, and after the return leg back to LTN, perhaps the next flight would be to Malaga full of holidaymakers rather than servicemen and families. From the passengers' perspective, boarding cards issued by JSATC, all military (or families), and RR code on them. A codeshare, if you will. As a passenger, all I know is my boarding cards definitely had RR on them. But then I was all of 17 at the time and knew very little about air travel. A couple million miles later, that's probably still true

Last edited by Roadster280; 25th Jan 2015 at 11:14.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 11:25
  #34 (permalink)  
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One end of Oxford Kidlington (only 5000ft) is right next to a dual carriageway too.

I haven't compared the lengths and run off margins in detail, but as Northolt is 5500ft, this sounds a bit like a technicality, an excuse to kick up a fuss. Biggin Hill is nearly 6000ft.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 11:31
  #35 (permalink)  
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North Weald would have been a better bet for a biz jet in terms of location, given it's accessibility to the M11/M25 - but not much chance of using it now I would have thought, too many restrictions on use there I suspect for biz jet ops.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 12:30
  #36 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Ken Parry
RR flight code? Oh really? The many that I operated all had BY flight numbers.
RR was the MOD Flight Reservation System (MMARS) IATA RAF identifier.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 13:13
  #37 (permalink)  
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That press release from Biggin bears little relationship to reality: Oxford Aviation Services (t/a London Oxford Airport) & Anor v Secretary of State for Defence & Ors [2015] EWHC 24 (Admin) (23 January 2015)
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 13:22
  #38 (permalink)  
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In the good old days, RAF North Weald was on the Central Line. Not that such a thing would have much appeal for rich-bitch bizjet cargoes, I guess....

But many an RAF pilot would fly to North Weald, then head off to the Smoke on the Central Line.

In his book 'Meteor EJECT!', Nick Carter describes how he was called at Chivenor one day and told to be at the Air Ministry at 11:00 the following morning:
Next day I flew a Hunter up to North Weald, changed and caught the tube into London, arriving at the Air Ministry in plenty of time for a cup of coffee before being escorted along the corridors of power.....

...On the way back to Chivenor, I did a small detour and did a couple of slow rolls over my home in Maidenhead for old times' sake.
The things one could do back in 1958, in the days when we had a real Air Force!
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 14:16
  #39 (permalink)  
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So, if say a UK registered 737' (on a military charter) arrives and departs at/from Coningsby or Lossie those airfields will have to be compliant with the CAP?
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 14:45
  #40 (permalink)  
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June or July 2008, Bruce Dickinson flew Astraeus 767 or 757 into Wittering to bring home some of the troops I seem to recall.

Also around 5/6 years ago, the NetJets website had a map citing flying distances into Europe, from airports inc Northolt and
even Wattisham!

So if a local businessman to the Eye, Bury, Ipswich, Stowmarket didnt fancy a trip to Stansted , could they ask permission from the Ops peeps at Wattisham to bring in a Citation or Lear to ferry themselves abroad?


Last edited by chopper2004; 25th Jan 2015 at 15:30.
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