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Has the UK aviation scene gone completely mad? (SERCO owning VORs and charging for their use)

I have just been told today that the reason Lydd EGMD makes you hold at ROMTI rather than the much more obvious LYD VOR is because the VOR is owned by SERCO (a navaid maintenance company, among much else) and SERCO wanted to charge Lydd loads of money for using the VOR for holds.

It is unbelievable how a situation like this (if true) has been allowed to happen.

A quick google on SERCO reveals they “own” a ton of aviation stuff in the UK, including a lot of stuff on military bases where they have nice juicy contracts.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Carillion, Serco, Amey they own the lot. I doubt there is any part of UK infrastructure which has not been privatised. All these corporates are run by the Pigs at The Golden Trough types who rejoice and prosper in corporate negligence and failure.Just wait till Brexit, when all of our utilities, Gas and Electricity for the uneducated, the majority of which are owned by French, Spanish, and Russia, start raising prices, again. BG have started already. How did it happen is the question??

Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

That’s what the UK is all about. Exploiting others. It started with colonies. That had to end. Then EU, but that didn’t work when Germany and France (and the rest) demanded the UK should contribute like everyone else. Now it’s back to cannibalism

Peter wrote:

It is unbelievable how a situation like this (if true) has been allowed to happen.

I am also a bit surprised by their interest in “small aviation”, they have a lot of profitable business running key UK public services under carpet (aviation is probably less about “money and returns” but rather about “exotic expansions”)

The company is like GE or Amazon, but unlike these not much of it is transparent to the public…

EGTR, EGSX, United Kingdom

It is likely that SERCO got their sticky hands on this nice little earner (say, >100k/year service contract on a VOR?) because nobody else wanted to do it.

I used to know a guy who ran around servicing VORs in the 1970s, working for Philips. With all those people long gone, but with VORs still maintained, this is a great niche opportunity for shafting NATS or whoever is paying for it. Maintaining old electronics is expensive if you have to do it via a quality assured system with signoffs and all the usual crap. If you don’t need QA then you can get an old guy who drives around in a van full of old circuit boards from the 1970s and swaps them with yours until your DME or NDB comes back to life.

It’s a bit like this.

That said, VORs and ILSs are still being installed and so must still be manufactured. But, as with most IT gear sold to the public bodies, if you can flog somebody a service contract you can usually afford to throw the hardware in for nothing

But to me the most amazing thing is that surely NATS are paying SERCO for the VOR, because various airliner procedures are based around it. So SERCO are not entitled to charge for it on top of that. It’s a bit like your wife working part-time in a brothel and keeping the proceeds for herself (it would be an equitable arrangement if she shared them with you)

This one is for EGSS, and EGKK is mentioned on it:

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

LeSving wrote:

That’s what the UK is all about. Exploiting others. It started with colonies. That had to end. Then EU, but that didn’t work when Germany and France (and the rest) demanded the UK should contribute like everyone else. Now it’s back to cannibalism

The UK has contributed to the EU every year for the last 40 years. I voted to stay in but attitudes like yours are what made lots of people people vote to leave,.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

Neil wrote:

I voted to stay in but attitudes like yours are what made lots of people people vote to leave,.

Please not another Brexit discussion. All I will say is that a little more thought should have been put into who owned what prior to telling one of our largest customer bases to go walk. Has anyone ever given one moment to think that if the Spanish own our electricity supply? Or the Russians own our Gas? I might be wrong, but it can only go one way. Serco and the like will be the least of our problems.

Last Edited by BeechBaby at 10 Aug 16:33
Fly safe. I want this thing to land l...
EGPF Glasgow

Peter wrote:

I have just been told today that the reason Lydd EGMD makes you hold at ROMTI rather than the much more obvious LYD VOR is because the VOR is owned by SERCO (a navaid maintenance company, among much else) and SERCO wanted to charge Lydd loads of money for using the VOR for holds.

What would be the legal basis for that — there is no way to meter VOR usage. And how does SERCO get paid in the first place?

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Probably same as charging airports for frequency use.

Whoever owns the frequency can charge for the use of it. And frequencies can be “owned” because some govt body allocates them, so there is a mechanism for charging for using them.

Obviously somebody is paying SERCO for running that VOR (a maintenance contract; I doubt SERCO actually owns the land and the hardware on it, but it’s not impossible). The bit I don’t get is how whoever maintains it can charge for its use. But a lot of privatisation initiatives do have surprising clauses in them, designed to sweeten the deal.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

In this day and age, who would be bothered by whether a hold was at a VOR or an RNAV waypoint?

EGKB Biggin Hill
17 Posts
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