MP backs Pulborough-based gliding club over airspace concerns

Nick Herbert MP
Nick Herbert MP

The Southdown Gliding Club has received the backing of local MP Nick Herbert after the club was told that the airspace it uses for long distance flights could be restricted.

The Arundel & South Downs MP visited the club recently to hear concerns about changes proposed by Farnborough Airport.

Southdown Gliding Club, which is located on Parham Airfield, near Pulborough, has over 200 members, many of whom fly long distances cross country.

Club Chairman Tim Beck and former chairman Craig Lowrie told Mr Herbert about the detrimental impact that the Farnborough Airspace Change Proposal would have.

Changes to flight paths and flying heights would severely limit long distance gliding routes if they came into effect next year, threatening the future of the club.

Farnborough Airport’s owners TAG, a Swiss aviation company, want to increase their flight paths to enable more private and business jet journeys.

Their proposal would claim significant low-level airspace to the South and South East of Lasham, effectively making a return to Parham Airfield impossible for gliders.

Affected gliding clubs in the South East are hoping to persuade the Civil Aviation Authority to reject these proposals until a planned full review of UK airspace has been completed.

Nick Herbert agreed to support the club and to raise the issue with the Authority.

He said: “Southdown Gliding Club provides recreation for hundreds of members and is clearly very concerned about the proposed restrictions on the airspace they use for long distance flights, so I am keen to take up this matter on their behalf.”