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Report - Panshanger Aerodrome – Welwyn Garden City - Sept 2015

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by mockney reject, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. mockney reject

    mockney reject 28DL Regular User
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    The history

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    Picture borrowed from the Welwyn & Hatfield times

    Holwell Hyde Aerodrome, Later named Panshanger Aerodrome is located on the outskirts of Welwyn Garden City and was created in 1940 as a decoy aerodrome for the De Havilland Production plant at Hatfield. It then subsequently became a wartime training field. After the war the land was purchased by Nat Somers and passed onto his wife Phyllis after his death. Phyllis is still the current owner of the aerodrome.

    During the Second World War, the airfield was used by Royal Air Force units for training purposes and a large Bellman type hangar was erected to accommodate the based aircraft. This structure still exists.

    In the 60’s & 70’s large parts of the original aerodrome got sold off for housing but a single grass runway remained.

    For a while a Cessna construction and sales business was run from the main hanger. In 1993 the North London Flying School took over the lease and ran the aerodrome until its closure. The school used Piper Cherokee aircraft for most of its training, although it also owned a Piper J-3 (Cub), an Extra 300L and a Piper PA-32R (Saratoga) for other training and hire purposes.

    During its time of operation, Panshanger Aerodrome had a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Ordinary Licence (Number P782) that allowed flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee. The aerodrome was not licensed for night use.

    The aerodrome closed on 20 September 2014 following the expiry of the lease from the land owner, Mariposa Investments, who intended to use of the land for other purposes.

    The aerodrome has been under threat from a planning proposal to build 700 houses on the site following the expiry of the lease. Many hundreds of local residents, pilots, aviation organisations and the 9000 members of the North London Flying Club were against the proposal which ended its public consultation on 31 January 2014. A HM Government e-Petition against the plans was set up but failed to attract enough signatures to move to debate.

    A 'Save Panshanger' website and Facebook page were also set up in support of the aerodrome's operations. The local people believe that if they can convince the council that the aerodrome was a great economic and social asset, they would drop it from their development plan, therefore allowing the North London Flying School to return to the field.

    The Explore

    Yup my good self and @slayaaaa at it again, on the way elsewhere and got sidetracked as usual

    Not really much to tell about this place, we drove past in on a country road, slowed down, reversed up, negotiated the Heras fence and went for a little walk.

    According to the planning notice attached to the Heras fence the site contained three subterranean fuel tanks and a number of hangers that are all due for demolition

    We stepped over the lovely gate with the plane emblem on it, if I'm honest I was surprised that this hadn’t been taken for someone’s house.

    Walking down what looked to be the entrance road we saw some hangers to our right and went and had a look. The hangers were all a little tumble down but you can see it must have been quite an active place in its heyday.

    You can still see the airfield although that’s slowly being overcome with nature as the grass grows. Any signage that may have been there is now long gone.

    The only part we didn’t get to have a look at was the main hanger and what looked like the offices, this was due to some official looking vans hanging around outside them.

    As always enjoy the pics

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  2. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    Reminds me of a couple of the Wiltshire airfields. That gate is a beauty, how it's still there I don't know.
     
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  3. dave

    dave 28DL Regular User
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    Have to agree that gate is something else it almost looks 3d.
     
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