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Private aerodrome or airport for training ?

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Private aerodrome or airport for training ?

Old 16th Jul 2021, 12:10
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Dubai
Posts: 6
Private aerodrome or airport for training ?

So I am going to start my training soon, and have the option to train at a school with private aerodrome without ATC, or at a school located in an international or domestic airport with ATC and landing assistance. Which in your opinion would be a better choice for students aiming to fly for the airlines one day?
dxb777 is offline  
Old 19th Jul 2021, 06:49
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 61
I'm a modular student with a PPL at the moment so perhaps others with more experience will have different opinions. I wouldn't hold any preference over an ATC airport as a training base for two reasons:

1. You're not paying for so time in the aircraft holding for others.
2. Whilst I'm sure there will be some training benefit from flying from one, I don't it's necessary to have most of your flights parsing from there. I'm sure a handful will be plenty.

I hope that helps.
Beaker_ is offline  
Old 22nd Jul 2021, 16:55
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Burgos, Spain
Posts: 51
Our experience as a flight school comes from operating at a busy international airport (Bilbao), private aerodrome (Los Oteros) and our current base at an airport with very little traffic (Burgos). From ATC to non-controlled to AFIS service… in our humble opinion… there is not a straight answer. It depends on other factors…
I would say mainly existing traffic. I would personally not recommend training at a super busy airport because it will cause delays (and frustration). But commercial and other GA traffic included!
For us, operating from a busy commercial airport was a nightmare both for students and the school…

It is nice to be able to complete all training from your home airport which will save you time and money for the more advanced phases… but it is also true that you will surely visit many different airports during your cross-country flights…

Learning communication skills is also mandatory so you don’t want to be completely away…
Traffic congestion in the area should also be considered…

Bottom line… it depends. There is not an answer that fits all cases.
My advise would be to prioritize non-congested airports and air space than ATC but I am pretty sure many people will have different views about this matter
flybyschool is offline  
Old 23rd Jul 2021, 08:35
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 1,214
Makes little difference. I’d argue flying from a small grass strip will benefit more so than a 3000m runway.
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Old 23rd Jul 2021, 09:39
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SE England
Posts: 661
Training with ATC will take more flying time so it will cost more. There is some small benefit in demystifying ATC, but when you’re learning to fly you should spend most of your time in the air getting to know how it all works, not on the ground waiting for Ryanair on a 10 mile final.
Dan Dare is offline  
Old 24th Jul 2021, 09:22
  #6 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,420
Before you complete your PPL, it is advisable to experience both an ATC environment, and smaller airfields without any ATC but with A/G; AFISO.

With no service, you make the standard calls, developing airmanship by forming a mental picture where other traffic is by using your MK1 eyeballs & ears. Old fashioned I know, but tried and tested.

Instead of relying upon “ground assistance” you develop the skills to fly in a safe, orderly & expeditious manner.

Suppose you hear someone call FINAL RUNWAY 28, and you will shortly turn final yourself. What do you do?
What you certainty do not do is to simply ignore it, turn final yourself, with the other traffic NOT in sight.

Consider unwittingly being on final with the lead aircraft in your blind spot a short distance ahead and below.
A potential catastrophic event awaits, with the second aircraft effectively landing on top of the lead aircraft….

Keep reading magazines etc of other pilots experiences.
Learn from their mistakes, as you will not live long enough to make them all yourself.
parkfell is offline  
Old 26th Jul 2021, 11:16
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North of CDG
Posts: 1,039
I agree with flybyschool on this; it depends... Back when I went through PPL in Florida, the airport (Fort Pierce/St. Lucie) had GND, TWR, even (as I recall) an APP frequency. All good practice for us who intended to gain (JAA) CPL-ME. Big advantage: we had to get used to a commercial environment, interacting with ATC from day one. Nearby was another controlled airfield (Vero Beach), which was handy for ILS practice (Ft. Pierce had non-precision approaches).

However, I would argue that if the controlled airfield is busy, you may waste time at the holding point or in flight, since ATC will typically give priority to commercial (airline-type) traffic over training aircraft because of cost issues and speed sequencing. In flight training too, time is money... Also, remember that these airfields will typically have landing fees.

Initial flight training from an uncontrolled airfield may save you money since airspace and the lack of ATC will allow 100% of your flight time, from chocks off to chocks on, to be devoted to training. However, if the airspace is busy with other training aircraft, everyone will have to rely 100% on position reports from other traffic.

In a nutshell: the best might be an uncontrolled airfield for the early part of flight training (PPL, night qualification, hours building, maybe MEP), located not far (for short transit times) from an uncrowded controlled airfield for the commercial part (CPL, IR). Of course, different modules of training can also be undertaken in totally different FTOs in different locations, with these demands in mind.


Last edited by FougaMagister; 26th Jul 2021 at 15:35.
FougaMagister is offline  

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