Changes to the airfield and surrounding area should attract more visitors by making access to amenities much easier.
Pilots and passengers who have flown to Daedalus from across the UK and Europe can now make the short walk to Marine Parade West very easily, thanks to the creation of a pathway linking the aerodrome to the beach road. Just three minutes walk from the airfield’s Control Tower are the waters of the Solent with views of the Isle of Wight, along with facilities that include beaches, parks, places to eat, shops and accommodation for those who would like a longer stay.
Lee Flying Association’s Chairman Jon Butts says, “This simple path completely transforms the aviation visitor experience of the aerodrome, local area and the Solent for the better. Having wonderful seafronts and local facilities a stones’ throw away, yet inaccessible except by taxi or a very long walk around the airfield, has been disappointing airfield visitors and local aviators for many years.
“This is a quick win for the aerodrome, aviation visitors from across the UK and Europe, and local businesses that should benefit from additional visitors reaching them and discovering our area. Having formally proposed seafront pedestrian access to two previous Daedalus landowners over several years, I am delighted that new owner Fareham Borough Council (FBC) has been quick to see the value in this latest proposal.
“Things change slowly at Daedalus but the pace is now accelerating. We hope it will not be too much longer before local people are also enabled by FBC to access their aerodrome in a similar way from the seafront, to come and watch the aircraft coming and going and perhaps one day have a bite to eat on the aerodrome itself.
“In the meantime, I would like to thank local people once again for the very real support they have shown for their aerodrome and also Lee Flying Association in recent and very uncertain years.”
The Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward, says, “Since we took ownership of the aerodrome we are moving as quickly as possible to increase the attractiveness of Daedalus as a location of choice for aviation, be that for leisure or for business. Access to local amenities is a great attraction to airfield visitors and this was a simple, low cost improvement that we were happy to make.”
The improvements to the airfield are part of long-term investment by Fareham Borough Council at the Solent Enterprise Zone at Daedalus Aerodrome, with the aim of transforming it into a business destination with 3,500 jobs in aviation, aerospace and marine engineering. Fareham Borough Council will be consulting on their vision for the Solent’s Aerodrome and Enterprise Zone in the coming months.
Official information for pilots visiting Daedalus is at the aerodrome website www.daedalusairfield.co.uk. Complementary information provided by local pilots for visiting pilots and their guests is at the Lee Flying Association website www.eghf.co.uk.