Blue clear sky today, over Blackpool this Saturday morning which should have been filled will pleasure flights, lessons and business GA movements. Instead all the aircraft were away in the hangers, as you can see and hanger doors closed.
This impacts on revenue for the airport due to all those lost movements. But this is only one area of lost opportunity, there is also the loss of visiting aircraft bringing money into the town and visitors too.
I also learnt today of a family travelling to the airport from Manchester to enjoy their son’s first trial lesson. They were making a weekend of it and due to stay in the town overnight too. All of which has had to be rearranged or cancelled.
I also talked to a new student PPL who may now take his business to an airfield that doesn’t suffer the same closures Blackpool does, most of the time.
A number of business GA aircraft were diverted to Manchester, with the possible impact on future visits and revenue.
Whilst staff shortages maybe unavoidable and safety must always be the priority in this industry, today’s airport closures till 2 pm have concerned me. As I said back in October and the summer, Resilience and Resourcing is key, as is having a plan B and some time C in aviation....
It’s time to think differently about how best to build this resilience into this function and I will be asking the airport board to do just that, urgently. The safest course of action has been taken today, but it should not have resulted in a closure for a large part of the day.
We must start getting “stuff” right if we are going to get back to full airport operation.
Our town is truly Closed, by Road, Air, Rail - anyone got a boat ?