What are the advantages of using smaller regional airfields?

Is flying from a smaller airfield viable? Are large airports becoming too busy? How can I avoid using large busy airports? Using local airfields can save you money Smaller planes can get you closer to your destination Do normal airports undervalue your time? Is demand for private hire of aircraft increasing? Smaller airfields can open up more travel possibilities

Large airports and indeed even the smaller regional ones are becoming busier all the time which by definition makes the process of getting a flight from them more complex, aggravating and time consuming. The demand for flights seems to be increasing every year which means that landing slots are at a premium and as a result many airport operators are giving the large commercial flights priority over privately hired aircraft.

What about the smaller airfields?

There are many hundreds of small airfields in the UK alone and many of them are underused and some even struggle to survive. Using these small airfields has never been more sensible or indeed viable for the private flyer.  Single  engine turboprop aircraft which are smaller and more agile have made these airfields even more accessible.

Safety is paramount!

In 2017 The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approved the commercial use of single engine turboprop aircraft in all of its member countries. This is evidence that using a smaller aircraft to fly into smaller airfields is no less safe than flying with an airline into an international airport. This has allowed the convenience of these airfields to be utilised more effectively and opened up the travel possibilities for the potential private flying customer.

Time is money!

Obviously one of the major reasons to use private hire aircraft is the huge saving in time and that translates to money. The more local an airfield the less time one has to spend getting there and once there, the traveller is not met by long check in queues and seemingly endless security. The whole experience is more pleasant and convenient!

Privately hired aircraft are also available at a few hours’ notice should you have to make last minute plans and conversely can wait for you if you are delayed. All of this simply adds to the flexibility.

Get closer to your actual destination!

Furthermore the greater use of these smaller local airfields by the smaller more agile planes allows you the traveller to land potentially much closer to your actual destination which further reduces your travel time at the other end.

Small is beautiful?

It is not always the case but generally speaking the landing fees (and indeed ‘parking’ charges if you are staying there for some time) at the much smaller airfields will also be considerably less than their larger counterparts which makes private flying in this way even more cost effective. Added to that fuel costs will vary from airfield to airfield (even if only marginally) which further reduces the costs.

Demand for private hire of aircraft is increasing all the time and the use of these smaller, local airfields serves to make it all the more accessible for both personal trips and business flights.

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About the author

Will Graham

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I graduated from the University of Warwick with a BSc Hons in Mathematics & Statistics. Since leaving university I have become Founder and Director of FlexiFly.co.uk.

While studying I played an active role in the family nursing home business, The Graham Care Group, and have continued as a Graduate Trainee alongside my work with FlexiFly, being involved with all areas of the business.

For some years I have been actively involved in international motorsport and achieved numerous awards as co-driver to a European Rally Champion (my dad!). It was these experiences of weekends in Europe that partly inspired us about how we could make air travel more flexible and convenient. The calibre of competitors we met on events have given us insight into the potential our alternative to traditional aircraft charter has.


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