Aviation firm supports huge plans for Daedalus

REVAMP Daedalus
REVAMP Daedalus
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PLANS to improve infrastructure at Daedalus airfield have been given the thumbs-up by aviation firms and groups.

A multi-million pound cash injection could see the airstrip become licensed, attracting commercial and business airlines.

The runways could be resurfaced and relit, with a bigger hangar built.

Steve Ford is the managing director and founder of Sapphire Aviation.

He brought his firm to the former HMS Daedalus, in Lee-on-the-Solent, last year.

He said: ‘We’re getting a lot of aircraft coming in now that recognise the airfield as a business hub.

‘The infrastructure proposals are exactly what we need.

‘It’s one thing to attract these customers and have business and corporate operators using the airfield, but they’ve got to have the infrastructure in place.’

As reported, Fareham Borough Councillors backed the plans on Monday.

Work is to be funded by the Homes and Community Agency and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

Around 150 jobs could be created, along with an incubator unit for small businesses.

The 1,100m runway would be big enough for planes similar to the BAe-146 or Bombardier Q400 used by Flybe at Bournemouth.

But Mr Ford added businesses need to know when the work will start.

And he said the site could take those aircraft but it would be unlikely to see them.

‘We completely welcome and support the announcements.

‘What we want to see is it delivered. Also, we want to see it delivered in a timeline which is defined.’

The plans have also attracted support from Bob Wealthy, of Gosport Aviation Society.

He said the improvements will attract more people.

He said: ‘We take an interest in the history of it and present-day developments.

‘It’s quite important to our members.

‘We have an archive and store over with the hovercraft museum.

‘What we’re hoping is that we will be able to get some space there to show off the aviation history.’