Thursday, 19 November 2009

The joy of air travel

Two of us had a meeting in Germany yesterday. Things are pretty busy at work so we flew there and back in a day with BA from Heathrow. I parked the car in the long-term car park at 9 in the morning and picked it up twelve hours later. Add the travel time to that and you find that in order to attend a one-and-a-half-hour meeting we had to drive, walk, wait and get a bus for fourteen-and-a-half hours; not a great ratio.

GA would have been more efficient, a lot more fun and we would undoubtedly have enabled a couple of meetings with clients on the way out or on the way back. So why didn't we, of all people, fly ourselves? Mainly because the infrastructure just makes it so hard (in this context the word 'hard' is interchangeable with 'expensive').

The only airfields with approaches and lights that are open late enough are either bloody expensive (Bristol), too far away to be practical (Southend) or just unavailable except in emergency (Lyneham).

At least T5 is a pleasant experience as far as airport terminals go.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Thumbs up FAA

Following the mid air in Nw York that claimed eight lives, the FAA has issued new rule for the Hudson corridor. I can imagine many aviation authorities simply banning GA from the area, imposing positive control at all altitudes or mandating TCAS or similar. I'm glad to say that with the help of the GA community, the FAA (not an Authority but an Administration, an important distinction) has issued new rules that retains airpace access for all users. See here for more.