Pilot reviews of Bristol Filton Airport
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With just days to go before this famous airfield closes for good (21 December 2012) I thought I'd pay one last visit. Faded runway markings and very tired facilities at the small terminal it's obvious it's all seen better times. However we can forgive Filton this faded image as the thrill of flying into one a Britain's most famous aviation sites more than makes up for it. Home to the Bristol Britannia, Brabazon and the British made Concordes I recommend anyone to get this one in your log book whilst you can. The runway is enormous and the sight of the last ever Concorde to fly which is parked just off the runway half way down, is an added bonus. Very friendly ATC and ops staff. I wish them all the best for the future. Filton's closure will be a sad day for British aviation.
Flew into Filton from Dunkeswell today - can't recommend it highly enough. Helpful atc and ground crew, epicly long runway and only £19 inc vat for a pa-28 or any other SEA.
Also from a newish PPLs experience - very useful to build familiarisation of full ATC controlled approach and operating under busy controlled airspace; something you often forget when buzzing around devon and somerset!
Only downside - no cafe but heh central bristol is 20 minutes away so could always venture into town if you've got time.
2 December 2011
Flew in to Bristol Filton Today in a TB200 Landing fee £35 inc. vat.
Very friendly people professional.
There is no food at the FBO but there are several pubs and a restaurant within a 5-10 minute walk.
I would recommend a visit just to see the Concord.
Visited Filton today from Biggin Hill and had a great time. This is a historic airfield because of the Concorde connection and all that went before. Regretably, the planned museum hasn't happened and the airfield is due to close permanently towards the end of 2012 so if you want to get it in your log book, remember that deadline. They were on 27 today and the runway is so large it can be spotted from 15-20 miles out if arriving from the East. Controllers and ops staff were very friendly and offered a warm welcome but please respect the PPR requirement by phoning before departure. The only downside is the massive landing fee of £51.14 (for a C172) so I shan't be visiting every week. I cycled into the town centre (about 40 mins) and enjoyed a coffee and something to eat down by the SS Great Britain museum. Take the ferry back to Temple Meads and then the train to Filton Abbey Wood and you've done the entire trains, boats and planes thing all in one afternoon! Took off towards the west, carried on to the Bristol Channel, did a right and enjoyed a suberb view of the Severn estuary and the bridges. Must also add a word of praise for the Lyneham controllers who routed me directly overhead on the return journey and provided an excellent service. Unfortunately, their field is closing soon as well. All in all, a vey expensive cup of coffee but a great day out.
|“||Visited Filton on Tuesday 22 June in a DR400 to attend a meeting nearby. PPR was nice and easy (and friendly). I had planned to go in our C172, (1089Kg), but switched to our Robin DR400/100 (800kg), when I found out that the charges per ton or part thereof meant that the C172 landing fee would have cost £56 and the Robin “only” £28…..! Anyway, the Robin was the perfect aircraft for one of the best flying days we could wish for.
The airfield was easy to find and having the old Severn Bridge as a VRP from the north made it easy for first timers to find. The airfield was easy to spot as the big grassy bit in an industrial/residential area (just shows how aviation KEEPS green space!) and, as others have said, the runway is huge (and with a very big hump in the middle).
Parking for us was on Apron 1 which is right next to the 27 threshold (and the pick up point at (I think) gate 14. Very handy for the colleague who was picking me up as he could see the aircraft being parked up.
Refuelling was by bowser and took a little while as the driver was in a JatA1 tanker and had to swap it for the 100LL tanker. Cost was pretty competitive at 1.45 + VAT. The operations team were very helpful, one of them walked down to the aircraft to advise me that the tanker would be 5-10 minutes due to the need to swap tankers, and he wanted to save me the hassle of going back to the aircraft to await the tanker.
The ops block was nicely set out with loos, seating areas (a small terminal in fact) and drinks/snack machines available. All in all a very nice set up. Full weather notam info also available as required.
It’s a working aviation industry centre, so it isn’t meant to be a GA pleasure destination, but for what it is, it was a very easy to use, friendly and professional set-up, well placed for access to Bristol, good opening times and very professional ATC/Radar service. And just to top all that, I’ve landed on the same runway build especially for the Bristol Brabazon, with a Concorde parked alongside. And for an aviation enthusiast, that was a bit of a childhood dream…..
|“||Went to Bristol Filton yesterday for a trip out. PPR'ed in advance as requested and to check the landing fee - not too bad. Excellent LARS service from about 40nm north west. Joined left base for 09 shortly after passing the new bridge and spotting the humungous runway! Reckon you could do 2 touch-and-goes on that on each pass! Very wide too, although with a noticeable rise in the middle. Nice view of the resident Concorde as you land. Parked up on "Apron 2" as instructed and after a minute or 5 a minibus came to take us to the terminal. Paid up, showed a loung with a cheap coffee machine which was quite pleasant to wait in. They claim they're not far from the centre of Bristol and were very welcoming to 3 oiks in a Cessna! |
|“||I'm learning to fly at Filton. Whilst I haven't been to many other places yet, I certainly don't have any big complaints. It's a lot quiter than nearby Bristol, so you don't spend half your lesson waiting for the 737's to get out of the way. It is busier than you might think, though, enough to give experience of flying among traffic, and gives the occasional opportunity to watch something out of the ordinary. I wish I'd had a camera with me on the day I watched a 747 land from half-way along the downwind leg - spectacular. Or the day I was told "After the landing Spitfire, line up and wait", or watching the Harriers leaving.
On windy days, windshear can be a problem for the inexperienced, especially on 27. On about my third solo, I came down from 200' a lot quicker than I wanted or expected, so touched down more than a tad fast. That big runway means I got away with it. And try not to annoy the neighbours on your way out.
|“||flew in to Filton very functional, £21 to land had to drop off passenger to get taxi to Bristol international. Nice approach over the town. massive Runway notable hump. Check operating times and PPR some times nonbased airports are not allowed in. they do IMC training and approach fee of £9.00 per approach seams good value.
i would go back
|“||I flew into Filton for the first time yesterday morning - a long and VERY wide runway (91 metres), with no other traffic, but full ATC - efficient and friendly. And crystal clear R/T - a relief after the almost indecipherable military R/T en route from Benson and Lyneham.
We were promptly collected by minibus (you certainly can't walk from the GA apron) and taken to the terminal. BAe Flight Ops are efficient and friendly - they seemed pleased to see us. They will happily order you a taxi into Bristol (about £10).
Landing fees are slightly more than Gloucestershire - and they do charge for parking if your stay exceeds two hours - so not cheap overall if you have business away from the airfield.
As I was going into the centre of Bristol, I didn't check out the airfield facilities - the AFE guide suggests they are limited as regards catering.
I'd certainly go back if I have to visit Bristol again - possibly because I'm still not over the novelty of landing on the airfield where Concorde was born - and where I could almost land accross the runway if there was a sufficiently strong crosswind!
|“||Following from Rob Ashton's comments/question . Would recommend that you check operating hours as currently ATC is a little thin on the ground so running on limited hours. As PPR is required then they will probably tell you but worth considering if you plan to stay any length of time/leave late in the day. Spoke to Flight Ops today - 18th April and they informed me that these hours will be running for at least a few months until they get more cover. This aside hope it gets resolved soon as really enjoy flying from Filton especially as you have concorde stationed alongside the runway. |
|“||A review I read in Flyer about two years ago said that Bristol Filton is much more GA friendly. They even pick you up from the apron by car and transfer you to the terminal (or at least, they did then).
No more details, as I've yet to fly there. But it's got to be worth checking out if you need to go to Bristol again. (There's now a new Concorde museum there too.)
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