Pilot reviews of Oban Airport (operated by Argyll and Bute Council)
Have you visited
Why not share your thoughts with us:
Went to Oban on Saturday 5th September since it looked like perfect VFR weather up the whole west coast of Scotland for a change, from the Isle of Man via Burrow Head and Arran.
The airport made me feel very welcome right from the 'Welcome to Oban' on landing from the FISO, ground staff I met had interest in aviation (the fueller had an aircraft based on the airfield too) and there is free bicycle hire - I rode into Oban itself on one of the airport bikes. While you don't need to be Mark Cavendish to ride into Oban and back (it's only 5 miles) you do want at least a basic level of fitness because there's quite a steep hill to go up on the return journey.
£12 for landing and parking for the day, and free bike hire - very good value for money.
The only minus point is the early closing time, there was a bit of an "afternoon push" with about 5 aircraft trying to get out. The FISO seemed to be pretty accustomed to this and handled the sequencing very efficiently.
Just before I added this, I checked the last entries and see the last two were me too! I'm not on commission, honest. However, there are a few more details and here they are:
Went to Oban on 9 June with my wife for a three day stay so that we could travel on the Waverley paddle-steamer which was operating out of Oban harbour. The flight from Blackpool to Oban was somewhat “character-building” with an 800 foot cloudbase and 20G27kt winds on departure. However, these cleared up 50 miles to the north, (as forecast) and the rest of the trip was uneventful.
Due to the weather, we had a later start than originally planned and expected to arrive at Oban 10-15 minutes after official closing time, but we had arranged out of hours indemnity with Oban with this very eventuality in mind. On the day, we managed to advise Oban of our ETA via the ever-helpful Scottish Information and on arrival, made blind-calls in the circuit to our pre-arranged parking spot. The parking was adjacent to numbered water-barrels on the main apron and I had asked for tie-downs to be provided which they did – large water barrels with ties and chocks all provided free of charge.
The overall cost of landing and parking from Saturday to Monday was around £13.50 for a DR400/100, (800kg MAUW). This has to be a bargain! The runway is now back to pretty much its full length and is in excellent condition; briefing was excellent with terminals available to pilots where we could print out wx and Notams, etc; AFIS, “Oban Info”, was very good and friendly; no café, but snack & drinks machines available in the small but very smart terminal. Fuel was from Paul Keegan at TLC and Paul refueled us on Saturday and Tim refueled us on Sunday, (after a Saturday evening visit to Plockton). They were as helpful and friendly as ever and Jammy Dodgers are still in plentiful supply!! The Oyster Inn in Connel and the Lochnel Arms in North Connel both highly recommended.
We stayed at a local B&B, “Greenacres” just across Connel Bridge – 15 minutes stroll – which had a great view of the coast and the airfield from the other side of Loch Etive. I’d recommend this, but most of the B&Bs in Connel are very good and also very handy for the airfield.
One of the highlights of the West Coast of Scotland is the scenery and the very quiet airspace. We flew to Plockton for our evening meal, (reviewed also), setting off at 19.00 local and getting back at 22.30 local – all in daylight! The flight with the very helpful Scottish Information there should we need them, was wonderful. On a high humidity evening, low cloud sticks to the island hills, but visibility is excellent between (and over) the islands. We flew past the Cuillins on Skye at 1,000 ft, (about 1,000 ft below the tops). The Cuillins were draped with mist like a soft icing sugar on a cake. You had to be there to experience the absolute wonder of the sights on a windless summer evening. The flight back to Oban in the evening had us “ooh-ing and awe-ing” all the way. We were overwhelmed with the sheer beauty and stunning views all the way back.
If you have never flown to the west coast of Scotland, you are missing one of the most stunning landscapes you can imagine and which can best be seen from a small aeroplane. You MUST treat the flying with great caution and always have a “Plan B” available. But with experience and care, you will be rewarded with flying which you will remember for all your life. This is the sort of experience which makes us realise why we decided to become pilots.
|“||Re-visited Oban on 25 September to pick up fuel en-route to Glenforsa. There is now a significant displaced threshold on 01, but it's still a plenty long-enough runway and well surfaced.
Paul Keegan did the honours once more for fuel and provided tea/coffee and jammy dodgers. Still in my top 5 UK airfields of all time.
|“||Visited Oban 7 to 11 July and everything that has ever been said about this beautiful location still holds true. Now run by Argyll and Bute council (and subject of various debates here and elsewhere!) the airfield is in superb condition and the terminal now has drinks and chocolate vending machines available. Paul Keegan still provides fuel, flying advice and the best tea/coffee and jammy dodgers in town. Truly, Paul is what GA all about - friendly, helpful and full of local flying, travelling, and accommodation information. He pointed us to a local B&B on the opposite side of the bridge from the airfield. It was super, with the best Scottish breakfast ever and friendly owners. The Blue Oyster pub next door was great too. We wathed RAF hercules do missed approaches at midnight - hope they had NVGs!
If you never go to another airfield in Scotland, go here and say hello to Paul Keegan. This is the very best in GA and we need to support it.
Nearly forgot - we had a train day on Wednesday and travelled from Oban to Mallaig via Crianlarich and Fort William, coming back from Mallaig to FW by steam train! This must be the most spectacular rail journey in Britain and the cost was just over £30 return for a full day out. (Plus an extra £24.00 for the steam train) Catering on the ordinary and steam train was available all day and I highly recommend it: this is a train journey for pilots - the train went fromm sea level to the highest rail summit on Britains railways (well over 1,000 feet) amidst stunning scenery - do it! |
|“||I happened to be one of the Pilots involved in the fly-out arranged by Steve. I can only concur with his review. The approach to 20 is interesting if you haven't done it before.... That lump of rock can be quite daunting.
Paul and team make this worthwhile, never had less than a smile even when they are working flat out.
The Lochnell Arms I suggest the mussels and the langoustines.... Awesome..
|“||We managed to get to Oban Tuesday 10th May in weather that you can only dream about. We didn't get there till 16.40 but the warm welcome was as good as ever. Pot of tea and the famous jammy dodgers. We cheated a bit, our rear seat passenger had brought a fantastic picnic as I had said to get a bite to eat before leaving the strip. Sat outside in the sun admiring the lovely view stuffing our faces. This has got to be one of the nicest, friendliest places you could ever wish to vist, one I want to go back to, stay overnight and visit some of the other airfields in the area. |
|“||It's just displaced Compton Abbas from the top of my "best views from an airfield" list. Very friendly and welcoming, but I've never seen a place where you need to use your RAF curved base and final more than 19. No better place to sit and have a jammy dodger on a sunny day, like it was last Friday. A freezer of snack food and a microwave would add to the experience though - man cannot live by Jammy Dodgers alone!. |
|“||A guaranteed warm welcome by Paul, and service second to none in stunning scottish scenery. Definitely an airfield to be conscious of the weather with, check by phone prior to departure. Surrounded by high ground making conventional circuits tricky especially from the North on to runways 20 and 22. On these runways unless you have an aircraft capable of making VERY steep approaches, descend on right base, and aim to be at the caravan site which is on short finals at 2 or 3 hundred feet, then turn finals.For those with fold up bikes or inclined to walking. the village of Benederloch is just up the road, with a nice little cafe and a walk to the beach. |
|“||Radio 118.05 call sign "Open Radio" |
Have you visited
Why not share your thoughts with us:
Contribute to UKGA:
Do you have more up-to-date information about
Register with UKGA
Registration is quick and easy, and FREE!
Registered users received the following benefits:
- Remembers "Favourites" Aerodromes
- Automatic email of new Notams (if desired)
- Automatic email of relevant events
- Log Book
- ... and more!