Bergerac Airport

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(Brian Milne) #1

I was listening to the news on France Bleu Périgord this afternoon. One item came up that will absolutely be of interest, perhaps horror, of people in SW France. The item in question was about Aéroport Bergerac Dordogne Périgord or Bergerac Roumanière, whatever you know it as. It is apparently running a serious deficit. This year there has been far too little tourism in the region anyway, hotels, gîtes, bed and breakfast and even a few camp sites have not done well but the airport has fared least well of all. There is a chance it may now need to close. Of course it was a news item without full details but the Conseil Général have been talking about it.


(Barbara Deane) #2

Perhaps it is time for you to prepare dinner!


(Brian Milne) #3

If you insist: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSnQ0bdHW0s


(Barbara Deane) #4

From fog to pea soup...chalk and cheese to John Lee Hooker.


(Brian Milne) #5

Nice one, and Gatwick is on the West Sussex chalk strata... Boom, boom!


(Barbara Deane) #6

oh well we make pretty good cheese around here.

There is one in particular.


(Brian Milne) #7

Chalk and cheese Barbara. Gatwick has highly sophisticated guidance systems for landings and laser projection on the runway verges for landing. Bergerac has an old style control tower and grass on the verges. Gatwick also has some pretty nasty fog, but millions of quid to deal with finding solutions, Bergerac sadly has a deficit.


(Barbara Deane) #8

Oh drama!!!!
Plenty of fog manages to get in the way at

Gatwick.

A good cup od coffee lists the spirits and the fog.

But a great pea and ham soup is a winner.


(Brian Milne) #9

I'll confirm what a clear view she has too - well, without fog. As Véro will say, I am intimately acquainted with the extremity of weather in that neighbourhood! This is just September, just 20km from Véro we have had one daughter getting to college in Bergerac nearly half an hour late and the other on time at her one 10 minutes away because of heavy fog. Certainly here, on the ascent for the planes, today was not the worst so far but there have been four pea-soupers already with normal fog season a good month off. Even if the coffee improved, nobody would be able to find the cup let alone get it to their lips (OK, I exaggerate, but it is fun...).


(Véronique Langlands) #10

I'm not surprised, I couldn't see the control tower let alone the runway from my house when I left this morning (I live on top of the hill overlooking the airport from the south).


(Brian Milne) #11

Aha, that is the one that is usually over us going into the landing path at around 0940. I thought the fog had blanketed the sound but then I have not heard any planes at all with the fog just clearing here now (1140) where the flight path down is.


(David GAY) #12

Perfect example of how the airport can be unreliable as the autumn progresses. This morning's Ryanair flight from EMA flew round in circles between Sarlat and Perigueux for a good half hour before deciding to divert to Bordeaux. Fog.


(Peter Bird) #13

It's brill David. I used it earlier in the year to track a flight from Paris-Istanbul then another from Istanbul - Kathmandu. The youngest daughter of my ladyfriend went to Nepal on a six-week humanitarian trip. I followed the flights and I have to admit we had a few goosebumps when the plane was directly over Tehran etc !


(Brian Milne) #14

Wooo, great.

It was only the last few years (and my annual quota of obligatory) flights that light aircraft had radar instead of radio traffic info. That could be really nerve-racking, but the radar images, then this... Well, let's say that whilst it was riskier way back it remained less overawing. This is civil traffic only as well, chuck in all the military ones and it begins to look like aerial eczema. Nice time waster though.


(David GAY) #15

http://www.flightradar24.com/

I don't know whether or not you've seen this site Brian. It's a great time waster!


(Norah Baxter) #16

I do hope this is not so. We in the Mayenne have no airport at all and I have always been most envious of Bergerac. Our nearest airport is Rennes, more than one hours drive from here. My brother and some regularly visiting friends live in Devon and we have been quite pleased with Flybe service from Exeter to Rennes - until this year when flights from Exeter have been slashed. You can only get to Rennes from Exeter for 8 weeks now. Just July and August. So it seems it is happening all over France. What is going on I wonder?


(Brian Milne) #17

No, but absolutely acres of field landing. The grass is as flat as the strip. When we only used Cambridge, which is the Aero Club base, it was still known as Marshalls Yard and had only recently, like 10 to 12 years, finished being used as a training strip by the RAF. It is (was?) as bumpy as hell on the strip and grass landings were fare more comfortable but never as nice as Duxford since the Cambridge one is on a slight slope. Dxf is a superb field, long and good surface and just the odd few low hills to break the wind for lifting at take off evenly and coming down as if on a cushion to land.

Funny, but Stansted was a nasty patchwork of concrete squares in the early 1970s when we went there a couple of times on training flights. The whole little 'squadron' would be rubbing their bums after coming down there. On form, when one or the other was clearly going to be commissioned for commercial flying, Stansted only won because it had space for new runways and expansion, but as a site Dxf would have won.


(David GAY) #18

Grass strip until 1949 when Duxford was handed over to the USA with the consequent concrete runway. Strange that the US didn't have it as a bomber base but then it had throughout the Battle of Britain been a fighter base. Again there were loads of flat acres to suit the US air force and Army Air Force to develop. Grass strip until 1949 when Duxford was handed over to the USA with the consequent concrete runway. Strange that the US didn't have it as a bomber base but then it had throughout the Battle of Britain been a fighter base. Again there were loads of flat acres to suit the US air force and Army Air Force to develop. When you look at the Google Earth photos it's clear that this was never a serious air base. There's no sign of the classic K shape of an airfield. Just one single strip. No cross wind landinggs.


(Brian Milne) #19

David, the grass is still used by light aircraft like Pipers for field landings, the strip itself is smoother than some of the commercial airports I have come down at here in Europe. The museum is great and I basically have no taste for military stuff but that sounds great as well.


(David GAY) #20

Grass strip until 1949 I think. My nephew is redesigning the aircraft exhibition at the American Air museum at Duxford. Lots of lovely aircraft including a Lockheed SR 71 Blackbird.