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Which countries allow private strips / operating from your own land, and how hard is it to organise (and airfields for sale)

Recently a member of the TB20 fan club was claiming that one way to secure the future of GA airfields was to club together and buy one. Well maybe an opportunely has arisen as The Lec Airfield and Bognor Regis has come up for sale.

here here

One key to this is whether there is a certificate of lawful use, or even a full planning permission.

Usefully, there is a building next to it, though from the air it appears derelict nowadays.

However if it is marketed (and classified) as an industrial estate site, GA won’t have a chance because the business rates will kill it.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

However if it is marketed (and classified) as an industrial estate site, GA won’t have a chance because the business rates will kill it.

Rates are generally not payable on sites as such, but are assessed on the buildings built on the site. Actually, an open air use can be rateable e.g. a storage yard, but use as an airfield would have to be rated the same as any other airfield.

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

Thanks for the correction, Neil.

That takes us to hangarage. There will be limited interest unless a hangar can be built – because the people who can put up significant money will want that for their aircraft.

I don’t know about Bognor Regis but at Shoreham the business rates make hangarage expensive. I can give one actual example from 2005 (now it has a laundry in it!) where the ground rent and rates were 23k p.a. which translated to six planes, 10m wingspan, paying £500/month (no VAT).

On top of that, the hangar has to be built… say 200k?

So it would work for a syndicate of say 5 people each putting up a fair bit of money (at a wild guess close to 100k each, to get the lease or the freehold).

Also anybody moving in there will be leaving Shoreham, Goodwood or Lee on Solent, perhaps. If they lose the place, they will be forced to move back and there may not be space. This is the issue you always face when you have a hangar space and someone offers you a “better” one

So you would want significant security of tenure.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It’s the freehold for sale, and you don’t get more secure than that.

Unfortunately for aviation, I would say it has substantial value as an industrial/commercial redevelopment site.

Here’s the marketing particulars

[ local copy ]

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

To fuel my (and surely others’?) retirement dream:

In which (European) countries can you buy a plot of land and use it as an airstrip?

Bonus for information on restrictions, such as whether permits or neighbors’ permission are needed.

AFAIK possible in (please correct if I’m wrong):

  • UK (or just England?)
  • France
  • Italy

Definitely not possible in:

  • Germany (“Flugplatzzwang”, even for paramotors)
  • Switzerland (the thought already is quite amusing)

How about Spain and Portugal, for instance?

Last Edited by Zorg at 18 Apr 06:25

Definitely possible in Sweden. No permission needed for low frequency usage and as long as no one complains about noise.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Denmark, the country with the happiest people in the world. You can easily buy an entire island there and do what you want.

But even in the less remote areas, private strips are still very easy and common, although their number has unfortunately reduced a lot in the last 20 years.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 18 Apr 07:32
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Almost impossible in Hungary, unless for agricultural use. You have to establish a full-fledged airport. What a shame.

Hajdúszoboszló LHHO

It’s possible in all of the UK, although town and country planning is devolved, so there are differences between our constituent countries. Our planning laws are also complicated, with many permissive exceptions, but:

In general, planning permission is required to change the use of any piece of land for more than 28 days a year.
In general, planning permission is required to carry out “engineering works” on any land.
In general, breach of planning regulations is not an offence.
In general, planning officials are helpful if approached for advice early in the process.

Also, in general, a felling license may be required to remove a substantial number of trees.

Summary: in general, if you want to use a field or garden as an aerodrome, talk to someone who has done it and then talk to the local planning department.

Glenswinton, SW Scotland, United Kingdom
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