Extract from CETAG meeting by Coltishall PC Attendee Keith Childerhouse on possible future use of former airbase


 Notes from a CETAG Meeting held on Thursday 14th January 2010
                       at 7.30.p.m. at Swanton Abbot Village Hall
Link to CETAG site: http://cetag.webalistic.co.uk/


The main reason for this meeting being called was to receive a presentation from Andy Verdon BFLX Consulting Limited on an aviation related use of the Coltishall  Site. Mr. Verdon is a retired R.A.F. Officer ( Engineering ) who is currently working on behalf of a company called TAG Aviation who are an aircraft de-commissioning company based at Stanstead Airport. Their main business is the de-commissioning of 737 type aircraft from which they recover engines, landing gear, avionics, hydraulic systems etc. these are then sold on as spares to major airline operators.

Mr. Verdon has already had preliminary discussions with Andy Hayman at Norfolk County Council and Steve Blatch at North Norfolk Council. and thought that in view of previous communication problems he would try to keep local groups informed.
All current presentations are based on a Planning Application being made shortly in which TAG Aviation will be looking to purchase the whole airfieldsite currently on offer from the M.O.J. this will be used to fly aircraft in and using the three main hangers, to strip down, recover and package all spares.
All other associated buildings will be used for specialist refurbishing, testing re-calibration and subsequent re-licensing of  all spares.

Any buildings not required for their specific use will be considered for sub-letting to any interested parties.

This will not become or be regarded as a fully operational airport.

The intention initially will be to fly in one aircraft per week increasing to one aircraft per day over a five year period. This could provide employment from 84 increasing overfive years up to approx. 323. Because of the specialist nature of some of this there could be opportunities for apprenticeships.

There could also be a further 145 maintenance jobs.

The majority of spares will leave site packed in containers  which could generate
up to approx. five loads per day.

There are many more questions to be answered but the initial reaction of CETAG is that this ticks most of the boxes on preferred use.

The transport would be far less than that experienced during the time that the Station was opened. The requirement from the utility companies seems to be at the lower end of the scale and the noise appears to be within acceptable limits.
The company concerned indicate that they will embrace local organisations etc. where this is possible. There would be discussions on an aircraft museum and they are prepared to talk to the Spirit of Coltishall Organisation.
The idea of a wind generator on the same site could not be entertained but this is up for further discussion with the M.O.J.

The day after this meeting Andy Verdon was presenting the above to the editor of the Eastern Daily Press. so we are hoping to see more in the local press shortly.

 The EDP reporter Ed Foss has story in todays paper on page 8 & 9

Keith Childerhouse.  18/01/2010