Compton Abbas Airfield sold – new flying school operator sought

Compton Abbas Airfield in north Dorset has been sold to nearby neighbour, movie director Guy Ritchie.

In a letter confirming the purchase, Mr Ritchie said: “We are pleased to announce that Ashcombe Estates are purchasing Compton Abbas Airfield from the Hughes family. Compton Abbas Airfield is an important part of the local area and has been the heart of the flying community here for many years.

“We will keep running the Airfield in the spirit that has been curated by the Hughes family over their years of ownership. We will make some improvements to the buildings and infrastructure, this will be done in a sympathetic manner, with the current community of users included in the planning.

“We will continue to operate the Airfield for both resident and guest aircraft. Resident aircraft can continue to rent hangar space here. We will keep the café and bar running so that it will remain a regional destination for families.”

Clive Hughes, owner of the airfield since 1988, confirmed that the new owners are happy for the airfield to continue operating a flying school, but do not want to run it themselves, instead inviting third parties to apply to take the existing school over. In a letter to airfield residents and school students, Mr Hughes said: The new owners, and ourselves, will with immediate effect seek the continuation of the flying school under a third party arrangement. Given its geographical location, an enviable catchment area, and our highly regarded name in the industry we are hopeful it will not take long for a new buyer/operator to come to light. We will be issuing regular updates to you all but be assured both ourselves and the new owners will do all we can to enable your flying training to continue here at Compton.”

Confirming his intention to continue flight training at the airfield, Mr Ritchie said: “We want to maintain flying training, but we cannot manage the flying school ourselves. We would like to discuss with those currently involved in the school ways that we could enable flying training activities to continue. Resident organisations which run independently of CAA will be welcome and encouraged to continue to operate.”

Author: FTN Editor

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