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Swansea Airport loses license amid safety concerns

The CAA has halted Swansea Airport (EGFH)’s operating licence citing a “systematic failure of safety management”.

Following an unannounced audit in which “a series of safety concerns” were found, the aerodrome’s status as a licensed facility was revoked on 15 February. A spokesperson for the CAA told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the provisional license suspension was the result of ineffective safety management, inadequate safeguarding of the aerodrome, and the absence of an accountable manager.

The news comes less than a month after current operator, Swansea Airport Ltd, agreed to start negotiating a new lease with Swansea Council (who own the facility); something a report noted the tenant had “strong legal rights” to request, despite a number of current breaches of the lease as well as historic failings.

Director of Swansea Airport Ltd Roy Thomas told WalesOnline he would be submitting an action plan, including a focus on ensuring the three-mile perimeter was secure from grazing animals, and appointing a new accountable manager.

The CAA previously suspended the facility’s license in 2019 (also citing safety concerns), something which took two years to be re-instated. Although the site’s two resident flying schools (Cambrian Flying Club and Gower Flight Centre) are both still operating, plans to run scheduled passenger flights between Swansea and Exeter (planned to commence from the end of March) may now be paused.

Swansea Airport Ltd has until 28 February to submit a “corrective action plan”. A Swansea Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the position, are in contact with the CAA and tenant, and are considering the situation”.

Author: FTN Editor

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