In the summer of 2006 a public meeting was held at Chosen Hill School to allow local residents to engage with the airport management to discuss the future plans of the airport. Since then the the airport's 'five-year' business plan has been discussed by Cheltenham and Gloucester Councils, creating much speculation about the future of the airport.
The details of the airport's five-year plan were not initially made public, but a copy was submitted as one of the documents supporting four planning applications that are designed to allow the plan to be implemented. The five-year plan contradicted the airports public statements, and confirmed many local residents concerns that the airport wishes to significantly increase the number of larger jet aircraft using their facilities. A copy of the five year plan, submitted as part of the planning application can be downloaded from here.
Shortly after the five-year plan was published as part of the planning applications it was removed from the website because 'it contained sensitive financial information'. It was then replaced with an abridged version that had nine pages of content deleted. The changes were not limited to financial information. For example, the deleted or modified sections meant that the following paragraphs had been removed :
"Increase the landing distance available (LDA) on runway 27 from 997 metres to around 1160 metres, making it suitable for a wide range of popular business aircraft as well as regional passenger aircraft in the 20-80 seater range." (originally p.9)
"Visiting business aircraft could be expected to increase in number." (originally p.23)
"As well as home-based corporate aircraft, the Airport would attract more visiting corporate aircraft from Year 3." (originally p.26)
"The improved facilities would also make possible the introduction of regular, scheduled flights, servicing a range of destinations such as Dublin, Glasgow/Edinburgh, London City and the Channel islands." (originally p.10)
"The planned development of passenger carrying commercial traffic would bring about the need to expand the existing passenger terminal facilities." (originally p.27)
"Three home-based commercial training operators alone have forcast
an immediate utilization, with approximately 500 training approaches a year
"... Visiting commercial training operators, such as Oxford Air Training School and Bristol Flight Centre, could also be expected to fly 500 training approaches per year" (originally p.23)
This appears to be an attempt by the airport management to influence the result of their planning applications by concealing their true intentions for the airport. However, not all of the details of the planned expansion have been removed :
"With the commissioning of the ILS on runway 27, instrument training traffic could be expected to increase dramatically, almost immediately." (originally p. 23)
"The improvements to the runway declared distance could be expected to quickly attract larger business aircraft that cannot currently use or are severely restricted in their use of the airport". (originally p.23)
The planning applications, except for the full 5-year plan, can be read
online at the
Tewkesbury Borough Council website :
www.tewkesburybc.gov.uk in the section “Planning and Development Services”, “View Planning Applications Online”. The airport's applications can be found either by searching for the application references below, of searching for the applicant 'Gloucestershire Airport".
Planning application notices were posted at the airport main entrance. The plans can still be currently inspected at Tewkesbury Coucils offices and at Churchdown Parish Council Offices, Parton Road between 9.15am & 1.00pm.
The relevant details of the four applications that are currently pending are :
06/01669/FUL "Construction of a new access road to Gloucestershire Airport including new junction with Bamfurlong"
06/01671/FUL "Construction of replacement Boarding
Kennels and Cattery with
associated ancillary storage/reception"
06/01670/FUL "Demolition of dwelling and ancillary storage/agricultural buildings and their replacement"
06/01668/FUL "Change of use of agricultural land to airport operational land, grading of land to create a Runway E"
Comments regarding these applications will still be considered by Tewkesbury Borough Council Planning Department, and can be sent either by email via the planning website or by writing to :
Tewkesbury Borough Council,