Bergerac airport is in trouble

A little more belief in the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny could do a world

of good.

The problem with winter flights is landing. Even late autumn/early spring there are often landing problems due to heavy fog. Every time my brother takes one of these flights there is a problem and he has had many diversions to other airports. I am no expert but, they tell us it down to insufficient landing equipment at Bergerac. So,great spending money on the airport itself but if the haven't got sufficient infrastructure to support these types of flights they will not be able to do all year round and I think that is what will save it a,d bring in more revenue to improve it even more.

Quite right Véronique. Air travel has increasingly become the mode of transport for those with time to spare. You may well check in on time over the internet but this is not the problem. Any wise passenger leaving from any UK let alone French airport now has to allow up to two hours to get through the security queue. Fifteenth months ago I had to come back from London Gatwick to Bordeaux. I arrived at LGW some time after midnight only to find that there was no way of going airside until around 06.00. When I got through security at about 06.30 I found a whole world of passengers who had got through before whatever time the security gates had closed. I then waited another hour before my flight was called. Now I'm not whinging too much but airports never seem to advertise when the security procedures close down. Even scheduled air travel seems to have become a pain in the butt so why anyone would want to spend any time at or near an airport for relaxation escapes me.

A big issue at Poitiers & Limoges airports in recent years has been the amounts charged by airlines for the 'privilege' of having the airline use those airports. One route which died a quick death was the popular flight to and from Edinburgh. The route was particularly popular for the passengers using Limoges but as I understand it, the airline was asking an astronomical annual amount from Limoges for the service, an amount which was deemed unrealistic and unjustified. I wonder how much Flybe & Ryanair are being paid to use Bergerac ?

Exactly the same. In fact, my lot are due back about sevenish. They left Bellinzona in the south of Switzerland at 0900, shuttle to Milano, the plane should have been at 1200 but there was a two hour delay which meant they reached Bordeaux at 1630 (they called a few minutes ago) and now they will have just left the parking. Allowing for father-in-law's place to the bus, the round journey will have been ten and a half hours. If there had been both of us going (our daughters are too young to drive) then we could have done it in eight and a half hours, perhaps a little longer. Of course we would need food and loo breaks, so call it ten hours. The difference is that it is 1000 km direct, so €130-140 for diesel and some for grub each way. On the other hand, to go to fly it is about 140 km to Bordeaux for us, €20 fuel, then parking and something or other at the airport before flying. Then there are €420-450 tickets, luggage restrictions, €240 shuttle from Milan. So we pay roughly €300 more to fly and then we spend 20 - 25% of that time driving to fly anyway. Then we save about an hour and a half! All the rest is like Véro says, none of the messing about anywhere, not even passport controls any longer. Plus you can fill up the back of the car with all those things we are not allowed to carry on planes on the way.

No wonder one of the things that has happened is the vast growth in the number of camper vehicles on mainland Europe. You can go where you want, have your bed with you and can even pop in a supermarket or somewhere nicer en route and make your own dinner. Certainly hereabouts there have been campsite problems last year because there was not the capacity for the campers some weeks, yet air passenger numbers shrank and conventional accommodation did not do well although tourism increased. I imagine this year will be the same. Airports like Bergerac serve their purpose but if people's own mobility does for them would it be a surprise?

Well for most of us using a 'plane hasn't been quite as necessary as it has for people who live on an island. I drove to Germany at Christmas, which took me 8 hours door to door. I flew to the same destination in Germany on Monday which took just under 8 hours door to door, simply because of getting to Bordeaux, hanging about, getting an airport shuttle to my destination etc etc. If I want to go to Spain I get in my car & 3 hours later there I am and no messing about at airports, no restrictions on luggage, no faffing about organising transport on site... If I'm going somewhere within mainland Europe (but not sticking to a city) for longer than 4 or 5 days I'm likely to drive; if I'm going to the UK I'll probably fly, unless I'm going for at least 10 days.

Possibly a little bit of chicken and egg here in France too. My wife and I fancied jetting of to the sun over Christmas from an airport in the south, Montpellier etc to somewhere like Morocco or such. Was just impossible the flights did not exist. To get anywhere we would have had to go to Paris! Would have been cheaper to have gone Luton or Gatwick on a UK package holiday. The french do not seem to see flying in the same light as the UK.

Wellll, they could put on displays of exploding nail varnish. That would pull the punters in and the shop would do roaring trade round the clock of course, so never ever close again.

Meanwhile back at Toothfairy International, Santa Claus is welcoming...

It would appear that around 25% of the 280 to 300,000 passengers a year arrive in the small private planes (not including the pilots) and charter flights. That means an average of just over 600 passengers a day all year round. Nah, ya gotta be a optimist with a blindfold to not see that it is not really going to set the investment gurus on fire!

Obviously not! I don't see potential for businesses at the airport anyway (see posts passim) this last post of mine was in the nature of a reality check for all the optimistic contributors who imagine Roumanière as a dynamic commercial hub, on the theoretical strength of having a captive audience.

OACI (or ICAO in English) and ACI Europe are both saying that ground handling operations, traffic issues and air navigation for the aviation security industry (whatever that all means) are apparently prohibitively expensive. Whereas until quite recently both were promoting the growth of regional airports, they are now saying they are unaffordable.

SNPE are now making an explosive nail varnish? Bergerac only has about 40 permanent staff, most production is now in Poland and Thailand, plus it seems that HQ in Toulouse would like to close them down. As for the stuff, just cut and paste this off a site: Tevco, filiale américaine de SNPE et le mexicain Regio Empresas vont créer un joint-venture, baptisé Durlin-Cosmo pour la production et la vente en gros de vernis à ongles et de ses composants au Mexique, en Amérique centrale (à l'exception du Guatemala) et en Equateur.

Now there is an incentive for the vultures business people to swarm into Bergerac. All those nice Mexican business people with their samples, the cellulose base for making the varnish applied by sniffing hard :-D

One person we met at Cécile's birthday party last summer had just gone to work at Polyrey for fear of being made redundant at SNPE. Don't think they'll be coughing up a contribution to airport development.

Sunday closed! Like the day a flight was delayed by fog, which we could also not see or find driving home, so I waited with our friend. When it got to 1230 the shop closed! They went off to lunch, probably at the café if it was open. That is obviously another incentive for making the airport succeed, doh!

Would you bother opening a business on a Sunday for possibly a dozen people at most to use?

Just got back from the airport with the dwarves, Flybe was an hour late because of fog (didn't look massively foggy to me but I'm no pilot) there were about 7 people in the café apart from me, not actively consuming anything, I had 2 grand crèmes & a croissant for breakfast - the rest of the pickers-up or droppers-off (about 10) were just wandering around outside aimlessly or going in & out of the departure place. The shop was shut, presumably because it's Sunday, not that that should make any difference at an airport.

for all those people that are interested take a look at BLACKPOOL AIRPORT IN THE UK, just search for it on google. you then will find why small airports fail.

Ø = Alt 157 and ø = Alt 155. One friend there is Oðinn Øst. It takes me ages to find the ð as a rule (just lifted it from his email this time) although it is Alt 208.

ß = Alt 225. Å = Alt 143 and å = Alt 134. Some of us had to learn ASCII codes back in the Stone Age of computing :-( However, it has its advantages, for instance one keyboard from all Roman alphabet languages.

Good grief, having gone to Roumanière last night (the traffic, argh, all these people cutting each other up to save 50 cents!!) I'm off there again in half an hour, to pick up the dwarves. Lucky it is only a 15-minute round trip ;-) ;-)

Oh yes I like Philip Kerr v much - now the O with a slash, what I meant was I can't WRITE it! Do I have to fish it out of a drop-down menu or is there a short-cut via the keyboard? Same goes for A with a bubble on it. & scharfes S (which is a bit tedious seeing I write in German a fair bit but luckily just to family, who don't mind...).

Umlauts are no problem.

Jo Nesbø is very good, I have two of the earliest Harry Hole books plus we have one of the children's Doctor Proctor books by the title Doctor Proctor's Fart Powder: Bubble in the Bathtub. I also have one of the Di Derre CDs, Jenter og sånn, but I would steer clear of Norwegian music and he is not the greatest singer anyway. But the books are good.

Ø is not so hard given you speak German, the short version is like the u in English turn and the long is as oe in French oeuf. So, Nesbø is short, likewise bøk (books) but bøker (books) is long. Thanks to my Norwegian classes during my stay in Mo i Rana just below the Artic Circle I discovered his books but the CD from back then collects dust! Which has nada to do with airports, Bergerac or much else except that airport bookshops supply me with crime novels and I have made some great discoveries, I highly recommend Philip Kerr for instance. I have his entire Bernie Gunther series and even the forthcoming one on pre-order. Plots as intricate as Raymond Chandler and superb detail, plus his 'Hitler's Peace' aside from the BG ones is great.

Oh come on Brian, don't spurn the SNPE and its ultraglam multizillion euro offshoot nail-varnish business* !!! ;-)

* Whose name temporarily escapes me

Oh yes, based on the excellent book by the lovely Jo Nesbo (can't do the O with a diagonal strike-through, so frustrating).

I read Chomsky too but he doesn't translate to the silver screen quite so well ;-)

Business hereabouts, well there is... Wine and chemicals, not much of the latter any longer either, tobacco is more or less gone and anyway what is left is Imperial Tobacco anyway... That's about it. It is a region of small businesses that are of marginal interest to foreign business. The attempt at a private public partnership is exactly what had the €280,000 shortfall for the development of the airport. The department has said no more lolly, the city cannot afford it and private investors are hardly going to want to throw money at an airport that survives on subsidies so that tourism is protected against losses. If Flybe goes bottom up then that will hurt the airport and no other company will jump in as budget airlines dwindle confronted with big carriers reducing fares to win back passengers. Anyway, air traffic control could be improved with some investment but where are the bays for more aircraft. Unless they build a new airport with another runway and taxi paths plus more bays for more planes then there is no space for increased flights in the peak season. If they had the money, the planning, buying land from people reluctant to sell who can delay it legally for years, then actual building of the lot and that might be something between 10 and 20 years. Of course we don't want to lose it but the truth is probably that unless it can compete then sooner or later it may go. So, it looks like the best option is to keep it as it is and hope they can keep up the flights they have now.