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Buying An Old Airport  
User currently offlineLGWGate49 From Sudan, joined Nov 2009, 140 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 7800 times:

Whilst it's always heartbreaking to see some of the grand old ladies of the air awaiting death in the middle of the desert, I always hate to see the motherships (airports) die too. Just in the last few months Coventry airport in the UK has closed, and it was announced recently that RAF Cottesmore (with a decent 2,744m / 9,004ft runway) will also close as the government cuts back on defence.

So it got me thinking. RAF Cottesmore is the middle of the UK right next to a major trunk road (the A1 running London to Edinburgh) with a very decent catchment area. Would it make sense for an LCC to buy the airport, and run it themselves? Or would the initial cost be simply too prohibitive?

Alternatively can't us anutters collectively buy up an old airfield and keep it running? Heaven knows what we would do with it once we had it, but it's a decent daydream as I sit at work crunching numbers!  Smile


Look for the ridiculous in everything, and you will find it
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7729 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



Quoting LGWGate49 (Thread starter):
Heaven knows what we would do with it once we had it

I'll tell you this....one of the runways would be converted to an experimental conveyor belt within the first 3 months.  yes 



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlinePhoenix9 From Canada, joined Aug 2007, 2546 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7627 times:



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 1):
one of the runways would be converted to an experimental conveyor belt within the first 3 months

 checkmark  plus a pigeon coop (dovecote?) would be constructed on the property, housing at least 10,000 pigeons.



Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
User currently offlineFX772LRF From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 675 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7479 times:

And surely, the Air Traffic Controllers will use snowglobes and be experts on AirTran airways.

 Smile

-Noah  wave 



Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
User currently offlineMattRB From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1624 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 7460 times:



Quoting LGWGate49 (Thread starter):
Buying An Old Airport

It's what I want to do for my retirement. There are a few defunct airfields in the US and I wouldn't mind retiring to one of them, rehabilitating it and reopening it.



Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.
User currently offlinePhoenix9 From Canada, joined Aug 2007, 2546 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7315 times:



Quoting FX772LRF (Reply 3):
the Air Traffic Controllers will use snowglobes and be experts on AirTran airways.

...and Flairport would be the CEO/Head of Operations  Silly



Life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
User currently offlineSeaBosDca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 5768 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7299 times:

Don't forget that there would be 6x daily service to RDU, using A380 equipment.  duck 

User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4880 posts, RR: 37
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 7249 times:

Of course it can be done, if you have the money to do it.

Take a look at Koenigsegg, the Swedish car manufacturer. It is based at Ängelholm airbase in Swededn and uses the runways and taxiways to test its 900+hp cars. Very handy. I don't know if anything much flies in or out of there anymore.


User currently offlineMMEPHX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7094 times:



Quoting LGWGate49 (Thread starter):
So it got me thinking. RAF Cottesmore is the middle of the UK right next to a major trunk road (the A1 running London to Edinburgh) with a very decent catchment area. Would it make sense for an LCC to buy the airport, and run it themselves? Or would the initial cost be simply too prohibitive?

Firstly, good grief another RAF station closing, can't be too many left now. Second, catchment area doesn't look all that good, Leicester and Nottingham are both closer to EMA with the only other large towns in the area being Peterborough or Grantham, hardly likely to sustain large commercial ops. Anyone much further South than Peterborough is probably going to head to Luton, and East of Leicester then EMA or BHX are the more likely destinations. Can't see the benefit of having a LCC buy Cottesmore, purchase price is one thing, then civilian conversion costs and the road access to the base isn't exactly set up for large numbers of traffic. (A1 passes near by but there is no direct access other than country lanes)

a.net purchase? Bankrupt in a week.  Smile


User currently offline727forever From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 794 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6977 times:

An airline buying the airport sounds great in theory, but ask DHL how well it worked out for them buying ABX and ILN in the process. They lost their bloody shirt on that. It is far cheaper to spread the costs of running the airport out amoungst all the other users than to bear the cost all by yourself. Remember that over time the pavement will require repair as the rise and fall of temperature and moisture cracks the concrete. Someone has to pay the electric bill to keep the thousands of lights turned on. The cost of maintaining the Navigation Aides is astronomical too. Let's not forget snow removal. The costs are extreme, far too extreme for a single airline.

727forever



727forever
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12856 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6936 times:



Quoting MattRB (Reply 4):
It's what I want to do for my retirement. There are a few defunct airfields in the US and I wouldn't mind retiring to one of them, rehabilitating it and reopening it.

Wonderful goal. Just be very careful, have a good lawyer, incorporate so none of your personal assets are on the line. Insurance is a b*tch, one accident that is totally beyond your control could wipe everything out.

Quoting Cpd (Reply 7):
Take a look at Koenigsegg, the Swedish car manufacturer. It is based at Ängelholm airbase in Swededn and uses the runways and taxiways to test its 900+hp cars. Very handy.

Our local former army base was used for special forces and had some wonderful fields that our glider club would have loved to have gotten our hands on. No chance at that, we didn't create any jobs (no shit, eh?)

Unfortunately the state cops now use the paved runways for driving training and leave all kinds of debris on the former runways.

It's a shitload of land that's being used for cops to get their jollies off, and it pisses me off.

There's plenty of places where that can take place, none of which have a few thouand feet of paved runway with adjacent hangers etc.

Ah well, that one is beyond our reach now.

Guess it's time to hope for the lottery tickets to hit, eh?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6642 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR



Quoting 727forever (Reply 9):
The costs are extreme, far too extreme for a single airline.

Last year, Netjets Europe announced their intentions to purchase Frankfurt Egelsbach airport to avoid the hassle of flying out of Frankfurt am Main....but I'm not sure it ever actually happened.



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User currently offlineDiesel1 From UK - Wales, joined Mar 2001, 1638 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6534 times:

"Would it make sense for an LCC to buy the airport, and run it themselves? Or would the initial cost be simply too prohibitive?"
Not sure that at this point in a wordl recession it would be an option to take, but in recent years some ex Military airfields have made the transition to civil airports.
Although not run by LCC, their primary business has often been from LCCs

A few examples are:
Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield - the former RAF Finningley
and
Flughafen Weeze/Niederrhein - the former RAF Laarbruch
and
Leipzig-Altenburg Airport - former Soviet AF airbase Altenburg-Nobitz

Perhaps one of the most succesful is Frankfurt-Hahn Airport which used to be USAF Hahn Air Base

Even when economic conditions improve is it questionable how many 'failed' airfields or ex military air bases have a future other than as car storage compounds e.g. RAF Upper Heyford...

[Edited 2010-01-07 08:39:47 by diesel1]


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