Proposals will see passenger flights to islands from Daedalus

Alderney in the Channel Islands
Alderney in the Channel Islands

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TALKS are under way to bring passenger flights to a former navy airfield.

Proposals are being drawn up to bring the first scheduled passenger flights to Solent Airport at Daedalus, Fareham Borough Council revealed yesterday.

HMS Daedalus airfield

HMS Daedalus airfield

Regional and City Airports is working with Air Alderney to progress the plan which would look to create a daily service from the Channel Islands to Solent Airport, in Gosport.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council which owns the airfield, said: ‘This could be great news for both Solent Airport and for Fareham.

‘Already a thriving airport for private flyers and an increasing number of business people, establishing a scheduled passenger service will open the airport up to a whole new range of customers while Fareham will benefit from more visitors coming to the town.

‘We aren’t looking to compete with Southampton Airport and wanted to cover a more niche market that could one day in the future include flights to the Isle of Man or even short distances to France. I am very pleased with the progress of Daedalus.’

If the plans go ahead, passengers will be able to board an eight-seater Islander plane to take them to Alderney. The manufacturer of the planes, Britten Norman, is based at Solent Airport – where the aircraft has operated from for many years.

Danny Wilson, from Air Alderney, said: ‘We are looking forward to working with Solent Airport to get this exciting idea off the ground.’

A decision on the new air service is expected in the next few months.

The plans were met with mixed responses by readers of The News. While some welcomed the investment, others questioned how the road network would cope.

Posting on the Facebook page, Luke Freeman wrote: ‘The issue will be traffic. No public transport and if this opens, Newgate Lane will be terrible,’ while Martin Fludder added: ‘Need to build a decent road and train link first.’

Peter Blake welcomed the proposal. He posted: ‘It’s a chance for Gosport to attract investment. This business coming to Solent Airport is just what is needed to kick-start Fareham and Gosport’s future development. It would be great for our whole area.’

Chris Belcher-Banes agreed. He added: ‘I can’t understand why they [flights] were stopped in the first place. Win win I think.’