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Choosing a base airfield

With so many people on this forum from around Europe I wanted to ask a simple question: if you could pick anywhere in Europe as a base airport, where would you choose to fly from?

Things that could come into consideration might be:

  • whether the local airfield/airport is GA friendly.
  • reasonable landing and parking fee.
  • distance from the rest of the continent.

Curious to know what you all come up with

Last Edited by james16 at 22 Feb 17:56

I would choose my current homebase: EBKT

- Lots of GA activity (mixed with few business traffic)
- Hangars and maintenance on site
- LPV approach and runway lighting
- AFIS (not controlled)
- No restricted airspace in the immediate vicinity up to 4500ft amsl
- AVGAS pump with credit card (and Jet A1 truck)
- Open 363/365 and from 6am to 9pm
- Customs
- Central in Europe
- 1800m runway
- …

Maybe not the cheapest place (altough neither very expensive) but you get some return

EBKT, Belgium

I forgot the most important things:

- Cosy local flying club bar (weekend only)
- At least two good restaurants on site
- A hotel at 100m

EBKT, Belgium

Without naming a specific one, I would chooose a 24/7 airfield with non-outrageous fuel and airport charges that is rather centrally located (to “life” in general) and where it is feasible to live so close by as to minimize the time-to-airborne (less than 15 minutes driving).

Essen-Mülheim (EDLE), Düsseldorf (EDDL), Paderborn (EDLP), Mönchengladbach (EDLN), Germany

The combination of long hours, a good approaches to crossed runways, GA friendliness and a nice club is a Holy Grail.

EGKB Biggin Hill

And yet it’s the reality for many in the US!


I think Garret (hypoxiacub) and Jacko have the ideal. Farm strip a few minutes walk from home. May not be suitable for IFR or night but relatively free environment.

While an ILS or RNAV approach would be nice, and also customs and night operations, these tend to be co-located with commercial and jet traffic. The other benefit being fire and emergency services. More and more of these airports now come with the full panoply of security checks, paperwork and booking refuelling.

Runway lighting during un licensed hours in a smaller airport is an option but then you are operating without fire cover.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

Well, this ones not bad:

700 + m strip. All year round grass surface with new 120m tarmac insert to help takeoff roll for Rwy 25. Hangars on site. Land falls away to the east, so improvised instrument approaches work well. Two GA friendly airports with ILS within 10nm – Oxford and Gloucester. Clear customs and immigration by email when coming in from Europe.

A house is available for sale on the strip which includes usage of runway and hangar. No more landing fees. Two mins walk from front door to hangar. Could be worse.

Upper Harford, United Kingdom

It completely depends on your typical mission. I need a hard, long runway with lights and an instrument approach open late in the evening and early morning. That is surprisingly hard to find in the UK.

Many others need none of it.

EGTK Oxford

Medres07 wrote:

- No restricted airspace in the immediate vicinity up to 4500ft amsl

- Central in Europe

I like your definition of either central or Europe ;-)
And towards the South East you have the fortress of Brussels going up to FL195.

Just a dramatically different perspective.
Jason makes the point – depends on what you need (plane-wise) and want (mission) and maybe… can afford.
For most of us, the current place of living & working plays a role, too ;-)

EDM_, Germany
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