Welcome to Lee Flying Association
Lee Flying Association, a not-for-profit organisation, has worked with local and national stakeholders since 2007 to ensure retention and regeneration of the former Naval Air Station at Lee-on-Solent. The airfield forms a "strategic gap" of open space between Stubbington and Lee on Solent. It would have been all to easy to destroy this gap by building houses on the land, overstraining local infrastructure with more commuters. Instead the development that is taking place is creating jobs, reducing the need for commuter traffic entering and leaving the Gosport peninsular. Retention of the operational airfield maintains the open space and provides leisure and emplyment opportunities, bringing investment and jobs into the boroughs of Fareham and Gosport. Renamed Solent Airport it is a key part of the UK's network of General Aviation airfields/airports.
Membership of LFA is open to all who support Daedalus Aerodrome and its ongoing aviation use, safeguarding the aviation runways, taxiways and aircraft parking aprons - to help create a vibrant aviation future for the economic and amenity benefit of all. There is a growing social aspect enabling members and local supporters to meet and enjoy being on the airfield, enjoy tours, fly, and organise events such as our highly successful community Daedalus D-Day 70th Airmen and Airborne Commemoration.
© Jon Butts
Lee Flying Association has been remarkably successful to date in championing an aviation future for Daedalus - something very few believed possible when aviation tenants were given 28 days notice to quit on 18 October 2007. LFA challenged and constructively enabled the reversing of decisions to close the airfield to the majority of users in 2007 and again in 2008.
LFA also promoted the potential for Daedalus as a leading UK General Aviation aerodrome - creating unique employment, economic, amenity and transport value. LFA has been providing aviation sector insight to landowners and local leaders on opportunities strategy and issues that would need to be addressed through formal processes. LFA has been submitting pro-aviation sector input into the many public consultations and planning applications since January 2008.
As at December 2015 these efforts, combined with those of key formal stakeholders, have culminated in enabling new aviation businesses to gain a foothold at Daedalus pending investment enablers such as runway resurfacing (Dec 2014) and creation of new serviced plots with airside (taxiway) access.
Strategic planning for the Borough of Fareham, the Solent Enterprise Zone, and the Homes and Communities Agency has incorporated much, though not all, of the key input provided by the LFA needed to create a viable and sustainable General Aviation airfield delivering economic and amenity benefit once again in the local and Solent / South Hampshire area.
Planning policies, Local Plans, "Visionary Frameworks" and a granted Outline Planning consent for the whole of Daedalus have thus struck a balance which incorporates the need to boost employment generally, while retaining and using operational aviation infrastructure including aircraft parking aprons and taxiways and retaining a large amount of open airfield space, which local people value hugely.
The LFA provides local, aerodrome and aviation knowledge to a range of Daedalus stakeholders and local organisations, including residents associations, clubs and societies.
We are now seeing much of the work to date and original vision of the LFA, formal Daedalus stakeholders and local leaders coming together and some of the foundational enablers have been implemented. Ownership of the operational airfield itself has been re-united under one landowner, intitially the Homes and Communites Agency and is now owned by Fareham Borough Council, who have a pro-aviation and formally adopted positive Local Plan and Vision for Daedalus Aerodrome.
Critically the main runway has now been resurfaced (Oct-Dec 2014) which enables both the airfield to gain a Civil Aviation Authority licence and businesses to have the confidence to make longer term investments such as new hangars and premises. Work has also completed creating new serviced plots around the north east aircraft apron where the first tranche of new hangars will be built. They will replace hangars constructed in 1943 when the airfield was expanded to support D-Day. Their loss is a sad but necessary part of the regeneration of the aerodrome, although a suggestion to Fareham Borough Council that two or three hangars could be dismantled and rebuilt as heritage hangars has been well received.
Key phases of the regeneration remain ahead and there will likely be further challenges to tackle. However both the direction and now the pace of change is extremely encouraging. Further work is underway to enable further aviation investment opportunities at Daedalus, opportunities for amenity use and, over time, access to the airfield for local people and airfield restaurant as is normal at other civilian aerodromes.
LFA Members receive regular Members Newsletters which provide information and updates regarding the strategy, issues and progress of the many changes that are needed and are occuring here. Members have access to the LFA Clubhouse at Hangar "Bravo" where they can use the briefing facilities, free WiFi, and park their car or aircraft while visiting, help out with running the premises and socialise with other members. It is likely that the social and event focus of the LFA will grow as less work is required regarding the future of the airfield itself.
Aviator or not, local or not, all who wish to demonstrate their support for the Daedalus estate retaining and developing the operational airfield are invited to join us, thank you!. Click here for more details.