Pilot reviews of Cranfield Airport
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I flew into Cranfield on Tuesday for the first time in ten years. I did my PPL there fifteen years ago, when it was a very busy airfield indeed.
Not any more! It was very quiet. There was some traffic practising instrument approaches, but there was little in the way of ground movements. A few modern airliners were parked on the aprons, presumably for maintenance or storage.
The good points:-
Helpful, friendly and professional ATC.
Nice long and smooth runway.
Very reasonable landing fee for an SEP (under £15).
The not so good points:-
The old Café just beyond the tower(Café Pacific) has gone, so you need to go onto the university campus to find food/drink. I didn't bother.
Landing fees are now paid at Hangar 1, which is a bit of a trek from where you are directed to park - and, irritatingly, if you landed on 21, you will have taxied past it on your way to parking. Better to pay by phone with a credit card - the number is on a sign by the tower.
I don't see any evidence that airfield management are keen to attract GA. Quite the opposite given the reduced facilities compared with years gone by.
Visited last year a few times on IMC training. Back this year, restaurant is fine with nice views. Landing fee very reasonable at £7.50, and you can get ILS or NDB/DME also only £7.50. ILS can be busy so ring early. Friendly folk and good practice of a full ATC service.
I'll be going back and I recommend it.
G-USSY PA28 Archer out of Leicester 4POB
Procedural Approach to the ILS
You just cannot complain at the provision here. £7.50 for an Instrument Approach. £7.50 landing fee and very good café.
It's an absolute snip if you want to practice your instrument skills. There is no radar and they can get busy so you do need to be on the ball with the procedure. It is quite possible that you will be asked to take up the hold for the alternate procedure so revise that sector join (1/parallel for us) if it's rusty. We were kept in the hold for three laps but it's all part of the experience. There is a general air of efficiency and no, you don't get the small cosy airfield feel but it is otherwise friendly and welcoming. The café is rather smart and seemed to provide a good standard of fayre but although we had intended to eat, our program meant we only had time for a coffee.
Shall definitely be back - VFR or IFR - It's a must for the logbook.
Arriving from the north via Olney VRP and tracking towards the windfarm provided a right base join for runway 21. Plenty of well-maintained tarmac should you need it.
ATC were very helpful and refuelling was done quickly. For £5, Cranfield made for a great stop on a long cross-country flight.
|“||Flew into EGTC last weekend. 1.8 kms of good quality asphalt and helpful ATC greeted us. We were routed in from the south west via Olney VRP and the windfarm to the north west and then onto final for runway 21. A quiet airport, inexpensive landing fees of £ 3.95 payable in the tower for an aircraft sub 850 kgs. I would not normally go out of my way to locate an establishment like “Cafe Pacific”, but it is a suitable place to grab sustenance and they have proper coffee. Very typical of an establishment that has once seen better days. Not impressive when there all only a handful of punters and no clean paper towels in the heads. You pays your money and takes your choice. |
|“||Made my first visit to Cranfield today thanks to a free landing voucher, I can only say what a pleasant place, ATC were very friendly and the on site cafe was good food at a reasonable price as well.
Notwithstanding the free landing voucher the landing fee was only £10 for a PA28, if like me you haven't been there, give it a go its refreshing to see a large commercial airfield with good facilities make GA welcome without charging the earth
We done Cranfield, |
|“||My first visit to Cranfield today. Phoned in advance and lady in ATC very friendly. Joined via the brickworks VRP straight onto a left base join for runway 21. All very easy and after landing as I was not familiar with the airfield ATC talked me all the way to the parking position. Landing fee and up to four hours parking for my Arrow was a cool ten pounds. Absolute bargain. Booking in was a breeze in the tower and all the staff I met were very friendly. Very enjoyable trip and will definitely visit again. Never used the cafe this time but will on my next visit. |
|“||Having been fairly critical of "Cafe Pacific" in the past, I am now obliged to "eat my words". Visited last week and found there had been quite a transformation since the place was taken over by Duncan Hogben some months ago. All much cleaner with a more comfotable layout. A good selection of food offered at reasonable prices. Duncan tells me he has further plans to improve the facilities over time and I can only wish him well. If visiting Cranfield, at least call in for a bacon sarnie and a cuppa. I don't think you will be disappointed. |
|“||Flew to Cranfield from Southend in a PA28-140.|
Very helpful ATC and staff. Cafe Pacific served a very enjoyable and very reasonable all day breakfast.
The only down-side was - as everyone else has said - the landing fees. I normally fly from Southend - a very busy Commercial and GA airfield, but Cranfield's landing fees were even more expensive......
|“||Sorry to read Howard Patterson's report he was unable to find anywhere open at Cranfield but can't escape the suspicion he really didn't explore very far. The place is one of the UK's premier post graduate universities with clientele from around the globe. One thing it's not short of for anyone prepared to venture out into the fairly compact campus is a selection of places to eat! If visiting outside the main restaurant meal times the CSA (Cranfield Students Association) and the Social Club are venues worth asking for. |
|“||Visited Cranfield Saturday 2nd November.|
There was absolutely nothing going on. was told restaurant worth a visit, so shouted my friends the £37.40 landing fee.
Was told where the restaurant was but it was not open - cafe round thge corner - No - shut!!!
What a waste of time. In the weekend staff must be sitting around, why not do what Oxford has to encourage weekend visitors.
DONT GO THERE
|“||Just a note to let you know that Cafe Pacific was taken over by me and my wife in October. We're still not the Dorchester (working on that one!), but you don't have to stand out in the rain any more as we are open daily come rain or shine. So come in and try out our new menu! |
|“||I didn't fly in but attended a course at the field for a week and was a little nervouse at the thought of having to run the gauntlet of marauding 'yoofs' and waiting for hours with other weakened and starving customers at the Pacific Cafe.
Instead I got a freindly welcome,very good food at a reasonable price and had to ask the old man that served me if they had recently taken over the place as it just didn't sound like the cafe I had read about.
It's not the 'Dorchester' nor does it pretend to be but it deserves credit where it is due.
|“||Attended at the airport in July, and had to wait around for my plane to fly in. Whilst waiting, went to the Cafe Pacific for a coffee and a sandwich. Cafe had dirty tables, and there were gangs of youths hanging out in there probably from the nearby estate. Sitting around some gaming machines in there. There was nobody serving and had to wait 12 minutes before some teenager came out from the kitchen. Asked for a coffee and was told by him that he will be with me in a minute. Two minutes later a gang of 4 teenagers came in and he immediately served them first. I complained and they all ganged up saying I was a troublemaker! Shouting at me even. I asked for the manager, fearing I was going to get a thump. Eventually, some older man came out from the kitchen wearing an apron. Needless to say who he sided with and told me that the lad (and his mates) were right. I left without ordering, and wont be returning. |
|“||Vistied Cranfield yesterday, to take a friend to see a plane he wants to buy, Very busy full ATC with lots of training both VFR and IFR etc. As pervious stated to expensive £30.04 for a landing with 2 hours parking ( the first 2 hours was free, that all we stayed for). would not go there out of choice, again.
|“||There's one thing which dissuades me from visiting Cranfield again... It's not the excellent runways, not the friendly welcome and great staff, not the convenient and comprehensive briefing facilities, and certainly not the superb 1/2lb cheesburger in Cafe Pacific. It's the fees...
I visited to attend a non-business meeting nearby, was there for around 4 hours, and the landing & parking came to around £50. I know it's a busy training field etc. and they're probably not keen on having swathes of the GA fraternity descending on the place, but it's a bit steep IMHO. |
|“||Oh my God !! they don’t want GA planes there !!
be warned.... too expensive!! .....no Restaurant!!
Tabards must be worn!! .. Is this airfield suffering delusions? Is this Heathrow? no its hedgerow with attitude.!!!
|“||Be warned - it cost £35 to land a there DA40 on a very quiet sunday afternoon, with absolutely nothing to see or do there either, even the water cooler was broken!
On the upside, pleasant enough ATC and ground staff.
|“||Flew in yesterday in a PA32 - the landing fee was £44.09 !!!!!! |
|“||Called in at Cranfield on a flight that was due to go on to Norwich. Had to replan to Southend but was unfamiliar with the local area and was given fantastic advice and help from the folks in the tower who at the time were very busy. Top marks for suberb service! Would not hesitate to go again! |
|“||I had to fly to EGTC for a conversion on to an aircraft I just bought. I was made most welcome at my arrival at Bonus Aviation and found the people at the school most helpful. The ATC is quite understanding of people that have never been there before, and are very accommodating. I have not flown long in the UK (SA pilot) and I found this airfield to be an excellent ending to a cross country trip. It is very busy, almost the Heathrow of light aircraft, but I was not held up for more that 5 minutes to accommodate a 142 coming in to land. I would recommend it but expect to pay expensive landing fees. |
|“||EGTC is quite a large airfield and not easy to miss. You can use any number of aids to get you there but call ATC in time. They can get very busy. I have had to hold for twenty minutes before now. I think that the only down side to TC is the cost of landing. PA28 is nearly 20 squids. Lots of schools based there so take your pick for any training from PPL to ATPL. |
|“||Have to admit I like flying at Cranfield, its like the real thing... very pro ATC, very tolerant of studes like me but I do struggle with the cafe too. Its actually Cafe Pacific which is a derivation of Cathay Pacific which as an ex Hong Konger is a bit hard to take! |
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