Private airfield Dunsfold Aerodrome, UK, has won two appeals against restrictions imposed by Waverley Borough Council on an application to extend operational flying hours for the London 2012 Olympics.
This success allows the airfield to extend its hours of operations to 07:00 to 21:00 each day from July 21 to August 15, including weekends, and permits an increase in air traffic movements.
The decision to restrict flying times was overturned after the appeals inspector agreed with the UK government’s ‘The Future of Air Transport White Paper 2003’, which states that, “the increase in noise levels would not amount to significant adverse impact on any local community over the short timescale.” The inspector also said that Dunsfold, “with its long, hard-surfaced runway and associated facilities appears well-placed to make use of this opportunity but could be impeded by weekend flying restrictions.”
A spokesperson for Dunsfold Park Ltd, the owner and operator of the airfield, commented: “We are delighted that the inspector recognised the important contribution to business aviation [that] small airports like Dunsfold Aerodrome can offer and is enabling us to make the best use of our airport facilities in time for the Games.”
More than 500,000 international visitors are expected for the event, with forecasts of more than 3,000 extra private jet flights anticipated, in addition to 700 more charter flights during July and August.