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Civvie use of Military Airfields


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I did an internet search to find out to what extent civvies can use military airfields in Australia and didin't come up with anything.

 

In the UK, the MOD actively encourage civvies to use military airfields.. It isn't always cheap (e.g. £40 landing fee at RNAS Yeovilton if you have the requisite insurance), but in a land of ever diminishing civvie airfields, it is an important option. Of course, it is PPR and at the discretion of the station commander, but I have a few airfields in the log book where there are operational fighting squadrons and training ones.  A friend of mine popped into Yeovilton and ended up getting a tour of the F35s (or YF 35s - can't remember their actual designation).. external only..

 

I recall from my flying that airspace around virtually all military airfields was prohibited airspace - or at least heavily restricted (with some procedures for accessing civvie airfields within military airfield zones). And I recall RAAF Point Cook being opened to the RVAC one Sunday for spot landing competitions - jeez that must have been the lat 80s or early 90s.. It was not normally done, but I think it was one of the best attended comps..

 

But I can't recall if Aus generally allows civvies a/c into their military airfields. There would be obvious exceptions - in the UK, Boscombe Down (no longer RAF managed, but still a research base and home to Empire Test Pilots School), and the bases that house the Quick Reaction Alert squadrons would be the obvious. Lakenheath also, as this is a joint USAF base and they don't lik their a/c to mingle with civvies. Fairford is also off limits as it is a backup base, and is used by the US as a stopover for their bigger and more sensitive hardware. But apart from that, most military airfields are accommodating subject to operational requirements at the time you intend to visit. Is it the same in Aus, or are they all more or less off limits?

 

Note:

From the MOD Policy Statement (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/393016/20141218-JSP360.pdf)

"is MOD policy to encourage the civil use of defence facilities wherever possible, provided this is consistent with defence requirements, the interests of existing tenants and licensees, and does not unreasonably affect local amenities.  MOD airfields in particular represent a valuable national asset, and the income from civil flying provides a useful contribution to the defence budget.  The Wider Markets Initiative (now known as ‘Income Generation’) gave further encouragement to public bodies to earn commercial revenue.  COs and Heads of Establishments are therefore to consider all requests for civil flying facilities sympathetically."

 

 

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In case you are in danger of thinking there is any hope for the human race, I offer the fact that in our tiny blue starship planet, the main occupation is fighting the other passengers.

The total spending of the planet on our militaries now surpasses other occupations. The superseded occupation was giving praise to imaginary super-beings.

 

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I have been watching this:

 

And checked the local airport in Newcastle on Google maps.. and it is RAAF Williamtown...  Had no idea before that.. How pig ignorant am I?

 

 

 

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Oakey says PPR on ERSA. When I phoned ops to get permission, the standard answer is "You can't".

They gave up some of their airspace when Wellcamp opened. Now the are very protective of what they have left.

At least the deactivate on weekends and usually for 2 hours late afternoon.

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Maybe may be worth asking when is a good time to come and visit?

 

In the UK, there is a sense that as these airports are continually paid for by the taxpayer, the public should be able to use them as much as possible...

 

 

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Not in Australia Jerry, they go out of their way to exclude GA, even making large airspace exclusions going out to areas that might only be used a couple of times a year. A good example is trying to get clearance to transit Williamtown coastal, if they do decide to let you through they make it as hard as possible. Don't expect it to change anytime soon, aviation is only going backwards in Australia driven by a Federal government with an anti GA bent and CASA who it seems want to get all aircraft out of the air.

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Campaing Against Sivil Aviation, eh?

 

That is a shame... There are fields here that have a reputation for denying permission, but the pilot can make a complaint and if there was no operational requirement denyung the permission, then the station commander can be in for a bit of a grilling.. However, how many times do they not have such an operational requirement?

 

Shame though, and a little short-sighted.. Can you imagine a father taking his impressionable children to a mil field and they are so smitten by it, they decide they want a career in the forces - they are closing down a free (or where the pilot pays for the landing fee, paid-for) recruitment opportunity..

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7 hours ago, Student Pilot said:

Not in Australia Jerry, they go out of their way to exclude GA, even making large airspace exclusions going out to areas that might only be used a couple of times a year. A good example is trying to get clearance to transit Williamtown coastal, if they do decide to let you through they make it as hard as possible. Don't expect it to change anytime soon, aviation is only going backwards in Australia driven by a Federal government with an anti GA bent and CASA who it seems want to get all aircraft out of the air.

Yep seems to be getting harder. 
it’s a shame because it never used to be that way. 
About 2003 or 4 we did a flying safari around Queensland and flew into Oakey with about ten aircraft ( including 3 helicopters). A planned trip and we got to have a go in the Blackhawk simulators, saw the army aviation museum  and got treated to a guided tour of the place. 
probably never happen again. 
 

I’ve also flown into Williamtown in an R44 But admittedly I made a  “I REQUIRE  entry and landing NOW! “ call and they had no choice.  (Extreme severe weather front coming through with 60 knot gusts making flying uncontrollable)  I got lucky and there was another guy who worked at and was  landing at the time at the civilian rescue service in the other side of the field and I got welcomed and somewhere to store the R44 till the next day when the front had gone through. 

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11 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

Maybe may be worth asking when is a good time to come and visit?

 

In the UK, there is a sense that as these airports are continually paid for by the taxpayer, the public should be able to use them as much as possible...

 

 

Thats not my experience. I've been into all the fields you've mentioned including Boscombe Down and no way would they allow civvies on the station back then. Maybe pre NI but the RAF are real hot on security nowadays.  

 

My experience of overflying Australian restricted areas is all good - Richmond, Oakey and Amberley are very rarely anything but RA1. 

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Friday arvo is perfect for Perth. Once Pearce closes, we get direct tracking and max speed.

 

PRD zones, from my experience, are very hit and miss. You're best to have a very manageable backup plan in the likely event they say "not available".

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Except for Yeovilton, the other airfields I mentioned are those they definitely won't let you near as a civvie. With Yeovilton, they will, but, like others, you need to give notice (I have given at least a week's notice) and of course, it must not conflict with their operations. I have ben to Yeovilton (Naval Air Service rather than RAF) twice, once for their airshow and once for an all-day meeting (non-military related) held at their museum meeting centre. You have tio give details similar to a GAR (General Aviaton Request) form, which I guess they forward to the Special Branch for backgorund checks. I have also been into St Athan (RAF), Cranwell (RAF - but more a university airfield these days), and Cosford.

 

Glad to hear overflying is OK.. Although the best route from Blackbushe and Fairoaks, where I had shares in a plane to Dunkeswell - my closest airfield to home - takes me almost directly OH Boscombe Down, I have never even bothered trying to get an overhead clearance as I know it would be futile (have been through the Danger Area, but they routed me to the north...)...

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15 hours ago, Student Pilot said:

Not in Australia Jerry, they go out of their way to exclude GA, even making large airspace exclusions going out to areas that might only be used a couple of times a year. A good example is trying to get clearance to transit Williamtown coastal, if they do decide to let you through they make it as hard as possible. Don't expect it to change anytime soon, aviation is only going backwards in Australia driven by a Federal government with an anti GA bent and CASA who it seems want to get all aircraft out of the air.

Oh? Willy is generally receptive to transit over the top or coastal on the marked GA Routes or my experience on weekends.

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They might have changed, it's been years since I've flown around there. The way things have deteriorated with flying freedoms I would think it would only get worse.

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I remember reading an article maaaany years (10 or so) ago about some Uni rocket testing out that way. They used a Jab to search for the first stages after they had come back down. Whether you would be able to get in without some kind of legitimate excuse though I can't answer...ERSA suggests it's not available, "MIL exclusive AD - no public access"

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1 hour ago, Downunder said:

I'm keen to get into Woomera and spend a night or two in the town.

Anyone got in?

 

We tried about 3 years ago. Can’t recall who I wrote and spoke to but it all got too hard. Basically as best I recall they didn’t say “ No” but they made it so difficult that we bypassed it.  

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Woomera - forget it. A friend goes there via private aircraft, on Defence business, and even then he has to do some schmoozing to get in. They won't accept tourists.

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