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Pilot reviews of Northampton Sywell Aerodrome

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Pilot reviews of Northampton Sywell Aerodrome

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25 Oct 17 - Anthony Davis - Macclesfield

Sywell visit. 25th October 2017.

Great place to visit. Busy airfield, lots going on.

I suggest you give the ‘Pilots Breakfast’ a miss. The food was poor quality, over cooked and delivered on a small plate (maybe to make the meal look larger)! The food appeared to have been dumped in one pile on the plate!

Would I fly in again? Definately, but chose the food carefully!

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 1
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 2
  • Friendliness of welcome: 3
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14 Jan 16 - Liam Sandie - Barnsley

Visited Sywell from Netherthorpe (EGNF) for a short winters flight on 13/01/2016. This was in G-ROLY a C172 based at Netherthorpe. This was my first X-country after gaining a "fATPL". PPR was arranged via a phone call with zero fuss.

 

We routed at 3000ft and had a zone transit of East Midlands airspace. Weather was fantastic for the time of year.

We completed a standard overhead join and had a 10kt crosswind from the right for the landing on runway 21.

 

We went for fuel which is self service, well worth remembering on the cross country flights if you need to drop in for fuel!

 

Breakfast was served in the fantastic Pilots Mess café. It was a lovely breakfast but a little pricey at £7 each in my opinion. The airfield as a whole is in great condition and appears to be doing well. The landing fee was £15 which to be honest I am happy to pay if it keeps the airfield in thriving condition.

 

Would certainly recommended a visit.

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 3
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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6 Jun 14 - Paul Bond - Walsall

Flew into the Air Expo for the third time at Sywell in June taking other pilots who previously had visited by road fearing the anticipated numbers of aircraft arriving. As usual, printed off the information supplied by Sywell and read it thoroughly to ensure compliance with their arrival procedures. Entered the hold at Pitsford as advised and then onto downwind for 21 hard. No problems and no drama's of any kind and it demonstrated that if you follow the rules it works like clockwork. Congratulations to the organisers and the overworked ATC (caused by those that had not read the information) for a well organised event that you can fly into easily.

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 3
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
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5 May 13 - Roy C - Bolton (fly From Blackpool)
Visited Sywell today 05.05.13 Top class airfield. Helpful and enthusiastic when booking PPR and same friendly greeting from Radio and ground staff. The airfield is spotless, the runway, taxiways and apron are superb and with a landing fee of £15, exceptional value for the quality. As always, we tested the café and again service and quality couldn't be faulted. Price also very reasonable for the quality What a great place and I look forward to going again soon.
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 5
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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17 Feb 13 - Sudhir Marathe - Wellingborough
I flew to Sywell as a quick hop this afternoon from my base only 12 nm away. I originally trained at Sywell some 10 years ago. Although I had heard of how Sywell has progressed and expanded, I was really very impressed with the upgrade this aerodrome has had in the past few years – a hard runway, a fuel pump, large concrete apron for parking and new buildings housing flying schools and a restaurant with a balcony to view every thing that’s going on. A very friendly ATC. Even in the winter afternoon it was fairly busy place with a variety of aircraft in the circuit and on the ground to watch. I would like to return but a landing fee of £12 feels bit steep to me. Wouldn’t it be nice if the fee is little less for us microlighters than the GA pilots.
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 5
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 2
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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31 Jul 12 - Mark Anderson - Swansea

Looking for somewhere in the central England open 'til 6pm we called into Sywell on spec. I am still pinching myself that such a fantastic place exists. Helpful FISO and nice grass runways with a large grass apron. Enquiries about accommodation lead us to the Aviator Hotel, on site and with reasonable rooms. A nice pint from the bar before check in and a good meal in the on-site restaurant afterwards set us up for the next day. The whole place is a glorious Art Deco treat for the eyes. If you haven't been already call in and enjoy. The only possible improvement I could suggest would be the availability of UL91 on site. Otherwise perfect 9.75/10.

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 5
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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11 Jan 11 - Andy Hawkins - Swindon, flying from EGBP
Visited Sywell again on Sunday 9th Jan, 2011. Was initially a little concerned as they were listing all their grass as unavailable, but a phone call on the day of the flight showed that it was now available. Pilot's Mess was reassuringly busy, with what appeared to be both pilots and non-pilots, which is always a good sign. However, the food was delivered relatively quickly (certainly no cause for complaint) and my sausage sandwich was just the ticket! My passenger had the full breakfast, which he seemed to enjoy! We had problems with the starter on our aircraft, and receive help from several people at the field. Luckily an engineer happened to be meeting another aircraft and he helpfully got us going in exchange for a contribution to his beer fund. Will definitely visit again, must try out the hard runway at some point!
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 5
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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18 Oct 10 - James Palmer - Stoke Mandeville
My first land away since gaining my PPL and couldn't have picked a better airfield. ATC were helpful and straightforward, got to park behind the RAF Blades, and the full english in the 'Pilots Mess' was outstanding!
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 5
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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23 Sep 10 - Sat Flyer - Wembley
Sywell have been one of my favourite airfield for a number of years. The ATC is excellent and very helpful indeed. There is a museum (check opening times) and hotel on-site. The cafe is very excellent with a a good balcony view. Definitely worth a visit!!
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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5 Sep 10 - Leia Fee - Swansea
Went into Sywell for the LAA Rally and was hugely impressive by the happy, friendly attitude of all the staff, even on a hugely busy, pressured day. The new runway is lovely and the grass parking nice and smooth. Landing fee of a tenner including the Rally entrance and camping for the weekend was also great value! I used the wifi in the hotel bar/restaurant for a brief
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 3
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23 Aug 10 - Dave Remnant - Denham
Visited on 22nd for the Air Show. Easily seen from some distance due to the new hard runway. As always great ATC handling a "mass invasion" of airborne visitors. Didn't manage the hard runway due to the cross wind but the grass runways at Sywell are better than several "hard" runways I've landed on at other airfields. Great marshalling for the show and just well organised. If your going to go to an airshow this one is well worth it. Facilities immaculate for one of the best GA aerodromes and the welcome is always friendly from ATC, marshallers to the fuel guys. Didn't go to the Pilots Mess cafe this time due to the crowds but usually great food available on "normal days"
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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9 Aug 10 - Stephen Nuttall - 0.5 NM North of HMS Nightjar
Visited Sywell on Saturday 24 July as part of the Westair fly-out to Sywell. I’ve been before and found it a very good destination with a superb grass airfield. However, the new hard runway is now open, giving more options for visitors. (But we still used the grass). Somehow, Sywell seems to combine a healthy number of public visitors at the adjacent hotel/pub/restaurant, with a thriving GA airfield and a closely adjacent museum. A really excellent combination and they deserve to do well. We visited the museum (1st time it was open whilst I was visiting) and it was like a Tardis. Small, but PACKED with info on the airfield, and related aviation history. An excellent additional reason to visit, if one were needed. However, the very best part of the visit was the sign at the fuel pumps. Many GA airfields with pretensions to be Heathrow have signs warning of the dire consequences of not wearing a yellow jacket. Sywell’s threatened: Yellow Jackets: Pilot’s will be fined £20 if found WEARING a yellow jacket. Priceless and a breath of fresh air…..! If you haven’t been before – go soon. If you have been, you’ll know what I mean.
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
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22 Jun 10 - Doug Flory - G-AWOT Little Snoring
Flew into Sywell today. Great Bacon Butty from the 'Pilot's Mess' served up by a very friendly Andrea though at present the variety is limited (hopefully a bigger range will be available soon). Friendly staff on the apron and in the tower made this a great destination to fly to and I hope to return on a weekend to check out the aviation museum.
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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5 Jun 10 - David Jackson - High Wycombe
Flew in last month with 7 other Airways Flying Club planes from Wycombe. Excellent hard runway. Lovely food in beautiful surroundings. Well done Sandra of Airways Flying Club for sorting this one!
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 5
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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12 Nov 09 - Simon Roe - South Hykeham
flew in to Sywell again today new runway looks great very disapointing to find the Pilots Mess cafe closed. Had to walk to the Aviator hotel for a drink. still a great place to visit.
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 2
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
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26 Oct 09 - Bob Chapman - North Weald
Flew into Sywell on Sunday 25th October from North Weald, with two other aircraft from Andrewsfield, nice trip up, joining procedures easy as not very busy, new runway looks fantastic although apparently, not in use yet. Nice friendly welcome, but we were then told the cafe was not open, therefore no food, which was really dissapointing, I don't know why they did not advise us of this when we telephoned for PPR, we would still have visited, but perhaps another day when the cafe was open. Overall a nice destination, but we left dissapointed and hungry!!
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 1
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
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27 Sep 09 - Howard Graff - London
Flew from Wycombe to Sywell today in reasonably good flying weather. I agree with the other comments here : Easy airfield to find from the air, great ATC service, lovely facilities including easy parking for the plane, and everyone I met was very friendly. I was very impressed and will definitely return.

(The tea was a teabag plonked in a cup of hot water in the pilots' mess hence the lower food score - but there is a proper restaurant I think for people who are not in a rush.)

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 3
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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5 Sep 09 - Paul Gandy - Heathfield
Excellent airfield. lots on investment made and it is reflected in the quality of the runways (new hard runway now in use as well as the grass runways) and other facilities, very easy to locate and excellent ATC
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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27 Jul 09 - Keith Parker - Surrey
We flew up to Sywell from Goodwood on Saturday Morning for the first time, routing CPT and DTY, service provided by Farnbrough LARs was as usual excellent. Upon landing we could not help to be impressed with the massive investment made at this airfield, the Pilots mess was top notch as were the facilities were excellent, along with a new hard runway which unfortunatly was not in service but looked very impressive, there is even a museum if you have more time. We will be returning......Next stop North Weald
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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24 Apr 09 - David Bobbett
The new concrete runway was looking pristine and very inviting when we visited on 23 April 2009 - so much so that somebody had inadvertently landed on it earlier in the day! It 'officially' opens in a couple of months. The southern taxiway is complete as is the extended hard area near the pumps. Still nice to land on the green stuff for a change though.

Seemed much less busy than when I last visited in 2007 but that may be the economic climate; however the ever-changing runway lengths during the building work can't have helped. Neither can the fact that the Blades aerobatic team don't bother to let air traffic know when they cancel their 20min slots (three a day, details on Sywell web site) so I suspect some people go elsewhere rather than be mucked about.

The Pilot's Mess eatery seems to have gone more towards the 'greasy-spoon' end of catering; there used to be very good lunches with a wide choice of meals, whereas now it is bacon butty and burger country with one 'proper' dish at a stretch. However, that may be the fault of pilots rather than the cafe - no point in offering food which people won't buy. I suspect that the cafe being on the wrong side of the silly push-button security gates can't help either - the general public can't get access as far as I can see so, turnover must be limited. Alternatively, you can eat in the hotel - which I have yet to sample.

Despite the above, Sywell is still one of my favourites - a well groomed grass airfield with pristine facilities and a fascinating 1920's hotel on site.

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22 Sep 08 - Simon Roe - South Hykeham
Flew into Sywell on Sunday with my wife for lunch in the Aviator Hotel which unfortunatly was not as good as on previous visits. Airfield though as good as ever freindly and helpfull. New hard runway looks to be progresing well.
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 1
  • Standard of runway: 3
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
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31 Aug 08 - Stephen Nuttall - 0.5 NM North of HMS Nightjar
Visited Sywell on Saturday 30 August as part of Westair's fly-out from Blackpool. I'd almost forgotten what a lovely airfield it is. The Pilot's Mess, the hotel/bar, the Art Deco buildings, the great mix of non-flyers enjoying a beautiful airfield, bar, cafe, etc, is just how I dream GA airfields should be. Top marks to all the team at Sywell for being a great place to visit and friendly with it. The work on the new hard runway can only add to the usability of the airfield (although the grass runways were always in top condition).
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 4
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14 Jun 08 - Andy Hawkins - Swindon, flying from EGBP
Headed to Sywell today for my first ever grass landing!

FISO was very efficient, and the runways were in excellent condition. For some reason the airfield was very quiet today, but we had a nice late lunch in the Pilots Mess. Definitely worth a visit!

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 4
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
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14 Oct 07 - Ken Buchanan - London
Lovely airfield with the grass runways so well kept they are like putting greens. Friendly clear AFIS and a truly wonderful "clubhouse". Quite a lot of microlights whose speeds, take-off runs are a bit of a surprise but there's room for everyone.
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 5
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
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31 May 07 - Stephen Slater - Chesham
I'm a regular visitor and used to keep an aeroplane here, so maybe I'm biased, but the recent investments have transformed Sywell into one of the best GA airfields in the UK.

The Pilot's Mess has been an inspired addition, making the airfield itself a location one can fly a passenger to in the knowledge that they'll enjoy recovering from my landing(s)!

The self-service fuel facility also offers a great 'out-of-hours' resource for those who have limited fuel capacity. Plus the art-deco ambience of the place means that sometimes you can enter a real timewarp if old aeroplanes are about!

  • Quality and value of food / drink: 5
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 5
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 5
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 5
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30 May 07 - Richard Maxted - Sherburn
From recent experiances I would go high for the food and drink service, runway was fairly lumpy but is long, landing charges were perfectly reasonable and the welcome was ok from those I came into contact with, didn't use the briefing service
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 4
  • Standard of runway: 3
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 3
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 3
  • Friendliness of welcome: 3
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30 May 07 - Kevin Walton - Sywell, Northamptonshire
My home airfield, but a hopefully unbiased review. Looking at the other reviews pilots seem to generally enjoy the pilots mess and new decor.
  • Quality and value of food / drink: 5
  • Standard of runway: 4
  • Landing fee / handling charges: 4
  • ATC / AFIS / A/G service: 5
  • Friendliness of welcome: 4
  • GA pilot briefing facilities: 2
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7 Apr 07 - Kevin Lewis - Royston
This is the third time I have been to Sywell, what a fantastic place, friendly guys in the tower offering a good FIS, friendly guys in the fuel kiosk. Plenty to see and do at Sywell, and always lots of interesting aircraft, fixed wing, and rotary. Excellent runways, the main one plenty long enough for most GA aircraft, and really easy to find. There is both a Cafe, with balcony to look at the aircraft, and a licenced bar and restaurant AND a Hotel, AND a small museum, theres a nice 'buzz' about the place. It was quite busy today, when departing I was 5th in a queue at the hold for the runway, and there were others behind me and landing aircraft. It was all dealt with extremely efficiently and politely by the controller on duty. I will go again, and this is somewhere I would defintely take first time passengers too.
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25 Oct 06 - Nick Wright - Andover
I met a few other UKGA-ers her earlier in the summer,very nice airfield with investment going on! Like the self service fuel
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13 Oct 06 - Steve Rickett - Redlands,Swindon,
Visited for the first time today - what a great place! Very friendly and helpful staff. The guy who mans the fuel pumps is excellent! The pilots mess is well worth a visit had two wonderful mugs of good strong tea and a bacon buttie. Sywell to me is everything an airfield should be and I shall definitely be back.
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20 Jul 06 - Simon Newton - Wallingford, flying from Enstone

Sywell just gets better and better. Visited again recently on the free landing weekend fly-in to show off their new cafe and hangars. They've done a superb job on the new buildings and they complement the Art Deco feel of the whole field very nicely. The "Pilot's Mess" offers a more traditional "airfield cafe" alternative to the Aviator Hotel menu and their balcony is a great place to sit and watch the comings and goings. If you haven't been yet, go now!

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18 Jul 06 - Emmet Hart - Milton Keynes
This is a great airfield, and it's being developed all the time. The facilities are excellent, and all the staff friendly and helpful. It's well worth a visit..
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10 Feb 06 - Nick .
went to sywell today seamed like a nice place good facilities fuel self serve with credit card. all grass three runways with FISO. lots of planes etc there. and things to see
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10 Feb 06 - Simon Newton - Wallingford, flying from Enstone
Excellent all-grass aerodrome. Great art deco buildings, good runway surface, professional but relaxed tower. One of the few airfields to have MOGAS on site. Good mix of traffic, from King Airs and executive helicopters to microlights and most things in between. Restaurant and bar. A recommended destination.
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13 Sep 05 - Steve Ball - Nottingam (Manc exile)
I visited Sywell in August and think it must be the best kept airfiled i have visited, it was neat, tidy, superb grass runways, friendly helpful controllers and an amazing cafe, i'll be back before long for a much longer visit, keep up the good work.
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22 Oct 03 - Chris Pickles - Northampton
Three grass runways mean little cross wind work unless you want it. Tower is FIS, helpful and informal and well used to low hours pilots - can be busy at times esp. weekends. When desending from the overhead look out for Rotary traffic which is on the deadside. Northampton School of Flying (next hanger but one to the tower) offer coffee,snacks etc. and a welcome. Good school with 2 examiners in residence.

Runways a little rough in places with noted up slope on R03/21. Planning permission for hard strip turned down on technical grounds because of local NIMBY's - a few noisy locals concerned that 747's would be landing on the 1000m runway that was proposed!
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Pilot reviews of Northampton Sywell Aerodrome

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