Wycombe Air Park
|Wycombe Air Park/Booker Airfield|
|IATA: none – ICAO: EGTB|
|Owner||The Arora Family Trust|
|Operator||Airways Aero Association Ltd|
|Serves||High Wycombe and Marlow|
|Location||High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England|
|Elevation AMSL||520 ft / 158 m|
Wycombe Air Park, also known as Booker Airfield (ICAO: EGTB), is an operational general aviation aerodrome located in Booker, Buckinghamshire, 2.4 nautical miles (4.4 km; 2.8 mi) south-west of High Wycombe, England.
Wycombe Air Park (Booker Airport) has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P523) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Airways Aero Associations Limited).
It has over 90,000 movements per annum, many of which are training circuits over the local area.
Use of the aerodrome
The lease on the aerodrome is held by Airways Aero Associations, who run the Airways Flying Club from the airfield. They provide Air Traffic Control, Firefighting and other services to all the park users. The shareholding of AAA Ltd was sold in early 2014 to Heliair, gazumping a consortium of businesses on the Air Park (of which Heliair was actually a member). Heliair has made a Court application for an extension to the expired lease (a maximum of 15 years) after failing to win Wycombe District Council's agreement to a new lease.
Fixed Based Operators
Wycombe Air Park is home to a number of FBOs, providing flight training, aircraft maintenance and servicing, and pilot medical examination.
Engineering and avionics: Airways Aero Associations Engineering, Air Training Services, Wycombe Air Centre Engineering, Personal Plane Services, and Heli Air.
Future of the aerodrome
The Air Park site is owned by Wycombe District Council, who lease it for aviation use. With the expiry of the lease and the failure of Heliair to secure a new agreement with Wycombe District Council, speculation has increased concerning the future of the site. The Council are thought to be seeking an increase in the basic rent payable (currently £175k pa). With the Air Park losing money persistently, due to its losses on training activities, Heliair has been seeking a rent reduction (to well under £100k pa). However that would result in an unacceptable return for the Council on one of its major property assets.
The Council is thought to be in favour of expanding the use of the site as a business facility rather than as a flying location. Recreational and leisure flying (such as gliding) would potentially remain, along with use of the airstrip by the engineering and maintenance businesses at the site, but flight training activities could be substantially reduced or halted. Potentially this could address the long-running environmental issues with the airfield and its flying over the Chilterns AONB.
Regulation and environment
The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has suggested that it is minded to specify the Air Park under Section 5 of the Civil Aviation Act, unless a local solution can be achieved through the renegotiation of the lease. This follows an application made to the Secretary of State for Transport in 2009. If the Air Park is specified, the UK Civil Aviation Authority will play a more direct role in regulating the environmental impact of air traffic at Wycombe Air Park. The DfT's consideration of a Section 5 order is in response to continuing complaints about noise from training aircraft based at the airfield. Wycombe District Council supported the request for the Section 5 order.
An earlier request for a section 5 order was made by Wycombe District Council in 1988, but was turned down in favour of an expert Inquiry to identify ways in which the Air Park could improve. The whole process including the decision not to specify and the subsequent inquiry ran from 1988–1990, and resulted in the O'Connor report in 1991.
- Wycombe Air Park/Booker - EGTB
- Civil Aviation Authority Aerodrome Ordinary Licences
- "Airways Flying Club". Retrieved 2007-07-09.
- "Flying Training Organisations". Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- Booker Gliding Club
- Wycombe Air Centre
- Wycombe Air Park
- EGTB webcams
- WAP aircraft poster the original of which can be seen hanging at the Airways Flying Club