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Landing at closed aerodromes

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Landing at closed aerodromes

Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:46
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Landing at closed aerodromes

Hi all,

I tried to search for this, but couldn't find any info in the forums.

Tomorrow, I'm meant to be doing my first land away at Peterborough Conington (EGSF), but I checked the NOTAMs and it seems to be shut. I'm just wondering, what's the status of landing at closed ATZs?

The other option is Sywell (EGBK) which seems open, but no AFIS. I'll check with the CFI (who's instructing me tomorrow) but was just wondering what the actual procedure is. Can you not land? Or is it safety calls on Safetycom, or what?

Thanks,
Neil
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 20:54
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Many airfields will not allow out of hours, some will. You need permission to land - that does not mean on the radio but from the "landowner" this can be a case of phoning up the day before or you may need to sign some sort of indemnity. If they have a frequency then the normal thing is to make blind calls on the normal frequency.
Having said that I will be surprised as a student if your instructors agrees to you doing a land away into a field with no services!

Last edited by foxmoth; 30th Dec 2014 at 21:08.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 21:10
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If an airfield is officially closed, its existance ceased - there is no longer any landing site. You could do a safety landing though, and if you find out after a thorough inspection everything is alright and the engine had some kind of morning sickness sticky valve, you just take off again. No permission needed, neither landing nor take off. By good airmenship safety landings cost no landing fee either. Be prepared to discuss in case of an investigation, but all due to flight safety.

But, if you know in advance by NOTAM or other, simply don't go there.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 21:27
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Landing at closed aerodromes

Pretty sure Sywell is closed until the New Year so only available to out of hours permit holders.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 21:38
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If an airfield is officially closed, its existance ceased - there is no longer any landing site.
Not actually the case in the UK - whilst many will not allow landings when closed if you can get permission then you can use it.
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Old 30th Dec 2014, 22:26
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Landing at closed aerodromes
Pretty sure Sywell is closed until the New Year so only available to out of hours permit holders.
NOTAM says it's not available for people needing licensed aerodromes, but it doesn't say its closed. Guess I'll need to give them a bell
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 02:11
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Foxmoth
Having said that I will be surprised as a student if your instructors agrees to you doing a land away into a field with no services!
To what services do you refer?
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 05:40
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Fire and rescue.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 07:06
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A relative of mine is doing his PPL and if his solo cross country involved landing at a "closed" airfield I would be horrified.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 07:07
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Hell you'd have bugger all airfields to land at over here if you needed fire and rescue on site. Why the need for these services? Are they required at all airfields in the UK?
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 07:20
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I didn't get the impression that this is to be a solo land away! The OP wrote that the CFI was to be instructing. If if it were, someone would need to be there to sign a logbook, wouldn't they?
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 09:33
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My understanding that as a PPL in training, there was a requirement for the airfield to have a fire service. At Fairoaks, we had to get back before 6pm when the tower and fire service finished. It was still possible to land as a private flight (as in it became an unlicensed aerodrome out of hours) but not when under training for a PPL.

This may be an insurance requirement or part of the flying order book rather than a stated rule.

I didn't get a signature for my first land away, only for the QXC.

Connington's a nice landaway, massive tarmac runway.

Sibson, on the other hand, is a relatively short pair of grass strips with their own hazards including actually identifying the runways to start with, and avoiding the electricity pylons. I wouldn't recommend it as a landaway to a PPL in training without having taken them there first. I've landed there three times, it doesn't spring out at you.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 10:05
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Originally Posted by Howard Long View Post
My understanding that as a PPL in training, there was a requirement for the airfield to have a fire service.
I went to a number of farm strips during my PPL training, and they most certainly didn't have a fire service!

The need to use a licensed airfield went away in early 2010.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 10:29
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27/09, I don't think you or I will ever understand the truly bizarre world of British aviation.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 10:56
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OT & 27/09
What makes you think you are the only bemused ones? ... The almighty CAA works(?) in wonderous ways
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 11:01
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"Closed" and "unlicensed" are not the same thing.

If an airfield has been declared "closed" by the operator or owner, then using it is trespass. If you have an emergency - who cares, land then apologise afterwards. It would be poor manners and poor practice to land under other circumstances however.

On the other hand, if it's "unlicensed", but not actually closed, then that's different. Only public transport requires a licence in place, instruction doesn't. The licence basically validates various safety procedures - minimum ATC, runway standards, fire and rescue; but those can all be in place without the licence.


We used to have a really daft rule that required light aircraft instruction to use licenced aerodromes, although microlight instruction didn't. After years of absolutely no difference in training fatalities between the two, the rule was finally removed for light aircraft training, and within a year a large number of training airfields had got rid of their licences and saved a lot of money and effort



None of which changes the universal and absolute requirement that the captain has to ensure the safety of the aircraft and the suitability of the airfield being used.

G
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 11:02
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It's all well and good moaning about the CAA, except it is misguided in this case as it has not been necessary to use a licensed airfield for PPL training since 2010!

If an airfield is closed, it's closed. Simple as that - it has nothing to do with the licensing state. It's private property and they've decided you don't want you there - so tough!

Unlicensed / Licensed only affects public transport flights and is irrelevant in this context.

-edit- crossed with GtE
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 11:29
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Our local airfield is closed over Christmas, as usual, and flying goes on, as usual. Its not licenced while closed, but that isn't going to make much difference to any one who is prepared. (Hope no one dropped in needing fuel without PPR)


But also as usual there is a lot of rumour and speculation. I don't understand what the OP was asking. Was he checking up that the CFI knew what he/she was doing? I understood it to be Neil's first ever land away. If that's right he should trust his CFI to know all the ins and outs. The CFI is much more likely to be reliable than some half informed replies on the internet.
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 11:49
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An aerodrome, airport etc. is a place from which an aircraft normally takes off and lands. If the owner of the aerodrome/airport closes it, for that time period, it is no longer a place where an aircraft takes off and lands - by the owner's direction. So don't land and take off there. If a store is closed, you don't break in and take what you want anyway do you?

If you have an emergency situation, a "closed" aerodrome could be a forced landing site, and if you do a good job, the aircraft could be flown out again. If a maintenance reason has caused you to decide to land, in flight you have declared the aircraft no longer airworthy. So, once on the ground, how would you declare the aircraft airworthy again to take off? You're not going to take off an unairworthy aircraft from a closed aerodrome are you?

There are airports I know of in the US, which were well declared closed. Pilots landed anyway. They found zero sympathy, and were told that the airplane would have to be disassembled, and trucked out = expensive.

And read your insurance, it probably has exclusions about operations from non or closed aerodromes.

This is the information age - you can't say you didn't know that you should not operate from any given place!
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Old 31st Dec 2014, 12:09
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Doesn't the CLOSED bit just refer to whether the main gate is open or locked shut, and that the office building is closed?

The runway should remain serviceable, unless they have let the flock of sheep back on.
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