The £1.5m project funded by Fareham Borough Council has seen the main runway resurfaced, repairs to taxiways and installation of ducking to prepare for future runway lights. Fareham Borough Council executive leader Sean Woodward and Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage helped to secure a total of £8.3m in investment for the former RNAS airfield. The investment includes the Solent Enterprise Zone which houses Fareham College’s new £12m centre for advanced engineering skills training (CEMAST).
Situated close to Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, HMS Daedalus was one of the key airfields operated by the Fleet Air Arm. Prior to the Second World War, the airfields primary use was to facililitate the training of Royal Air Force pilots and crew in sea planes. In the 1930’s the airfield was transferred to the control of the admirality, and as such it became the home of the Flag Officer Air. At the outbreak of WW2, it was recognised that Daedalus could play an important role in the war effort, and it became home to a number of sqaudrons. Over the course of the airfields military use, the airfield was home to over 180 Naval Air Squadrons.
Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward, who flew on the first official flight, said: “The upgraded runway is an important step towards gaining the CAA licence that will allow a greater variety of planes to use the airfield and boost the already healthy aviation community on the Solent Enterprise Zone. When we take ownership of the site we will be responsible for investment over the life of the Enterprise Zone totalling some £50,000,000 which will boost the local economy. This is in addition to the investment being made by Hampshire County Council and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership in new roads to improve access to the Zone. ”
The Official Runway Opening was a Lee Flying Association initiative delivered by a team from FBC, HCA, RCA and Fareham College whose new £12m advanced engineering college is now open at Daedalus with 900 enrolled students. Flat Six Aviation provided the specially-requested Cirrus SR20 for the official flight, flown by instructor Theo Amer. Eagle European AOC flew Fareham’s Mayor and Mayoress, media and college engineering students on local flights in our C421 Golden Eagle. Hampshire Aeroplane Club flew the C172 Air-to-Ground camera-ship. Aviation tenants provided numerous aircraft open hangars for guests and media to view on the South East apron, where Aerotech (Solent), Bournemouth Avionics and LFA hangars were opened for the visitors and college students.
Since the revamp of the airfield, it has become a key part of the regional economy, supporting an exciting range of businesses both from an aviation perspective, and non-aviation organisations, with two business parks.
Eagle European are very excited to be playing a key role in the future of Daedalus Aerodrome. To find out more about chartering our Cessna 142C from Solent Airport, please visit our website www.EagleEuropean.co.uk, or contact the team directly via email: Ops@EagleEuropean.co.uk.
Our thanks to Lee Flying Association for the use of both information and text.