Sorry if I didn't express this very well.
What I meant is they may want to know in advance what to expect.
They don't have a class D zone, there is often glider activity close to the track of the RNAV approach to runway 05, there's often military activity to the east of the field and the number of movements in and out of Cambridge is increasing.
I stress that I don't know that to be why they are introducing PPR, I'm only guessing. As I said in my earlier post, I will ask the question.
I flew into Cambridge earlier this year precisely because PPR was not required. I guess that won't be happening again.
My view would be that it is easy for an English speaking pilot to phone up an English airport and ask if they are open, or whatever.
Most UK airports, and many non-UK ones, are PPR in some form, but most airports are worth a previous contact if a serious trip is planned, just to make sure they are open over what hours, have fuel, etc. The AIPs are often inaccurate and a lot of stuff is not notamed.
But I agree Cambridge wanting 2hrs PPR, via a website, is just stupid. They probably got a new manager with a fresh MBA in Risk Management from the University of Upper Warlingham.
Is it only via the website, you can't call then up on the phone?
I stress that I don't know that to be why they are introducing PPR, I'm only guessing
Please do - I'm really curious what makes so many large UK airfields require it. Gloucester doesn't and I think it's the busiest GA airfield in the country (they don't have a class D surface area either, and are in an area of reasonably high transient traffic) - so if Gloucester doesn't see the need for it despite their traffic level, why does Cambridge and various others?
PPR - especially requiring 2 hours notice - really kills off any spontaneity in VFR flying (as in "It's a nice day, why don't I go fly to XXX and visit a friend" kind of thing, since now you have to wait an undetermined amount of time before you get a permission number). There are so few airfields you can just decide to fly to at a drop of a hat. Now in the specific example of Cambridge, 2 hours PPR isn't either here nor there since it takes longer than 2 hours for me to get there, but imagine if you were based only half an hour away - it turns something that should be half an hour end to end into two hours - meaning you might as well drive instead.
There are a lot of twists to PPR requirements.
I think everybody agrees that farm strips, private strips in general and possibly all grass airfields should be PPR.
Then there are airports which undoubtedly have a parking shortage. Ok.
Then there are those places which have some quirky approach peculiarities, i.e. a road needs to be closed for landing etc.
Then certain airports (mixed military-civilian ones come to mind) require some paperwork in advance. Fair point.
But then?? As mentioned, for "managing" the runway(s), there is ATC.
First of all, even though we usually only refer to PPR, there are actually two kinds of regulations, PPR (permission) and PNR (notice). I guess that what Cambridge is doing now is really only a notification regime, i.e. you send them your details and off you go. Not too much of a nuisance (apart from banning ad-hoc landings as mentioned), but the question is: what benefit does this setup have? Please don't say "to allow ATC to pre-compile the datastrip and reduce radio time"...
Now, on the other hand, if they really intend refuse operations (i.e. a proper PPR regime), as is done in the southern european countries, then this a bad news...and most probably uncalled for.
It's not clear whether the scheme is to be PPR or PNR. The email I received from the airport described it as PPR but there doesn't appear to be a mechanism for refusing an arrival (submitting the form seems to be all that's needed).
I got the email about the new system because I'm based at Cambridge. The PPR will apply just as much to based aircraft as visitors :(
As to why it's happening - at the moment it has to be guesswork. Cambridge has been trying to get more commercial traffic recently and I would guess they are trying to make sure that the commercial arrivals/departures are not inconvenienced by too many GA movements.
I would guess they are trying to make sure that the commercial arrivals/departures are not inconvenienced by too many GA movements.
...which would mean nothing less than operating a permission based system. Or otherwise stated, that would be a "slot system".
But at Cambridge? No, I am sure at will be (and remain) a useless PNR formality thing.
They should take a leaf out of Southend's book. No PNR or PPR (except for practice approaches, and even then they accept you if you call up and there is nothing else on, and I believe solo students). And they are MUCH busier than Cambridge.
Ronaldsway doesn't need a PNR/PPR system despite having a great deal more commercial traffic than Cambridge probably ever will (being a reasonably small island we get much more commercial traffic than a land-locked population of the same size would ever warrant). Or if we look over the pond, you can fly a light single into major international airports without needing PPR/PNR.
Having it apply to based aircraft is pretty much intolerable if you now have to give 2 hour notice before you go on a half hour bimble. Sometimes I think it's easy to spend more time on pointless bureaucracy than actual flight planning.
How about taking the proverbial and notify a flight for every hour on the hour for the entire week-end...