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Monthly News Bulletin
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Back to 2002 News Archive

Inquiry Called For

A FORMER flying instructor has called for an inquiry into what he claims is the "constructive closure" of the airfield at West Freugh.

Stranraer man Douglas Beaumont kept his own light aircraft at the base until he was forced to leave last week.

And he is so fed up at the demise of once-thriving West Freugh that he is now looking at setting up a flying club at the currently disused airfield at nearby Castle Kennedy.

This week Douglas (65) hit out at West Freugh operators QinetiQ in the wake of their decision to cease full-time flying which has gone on at the site since 1936.

QinetiQ have said that the number of aircraft movements at West Freugh did not justify the continued investment in services like fire fighters and air traffic control.

But Douglas has hit back saying that management did not do enough to attract private aircraft. In addition, he claims that existing clients, such as the RAF, were scared away by high landing charges.

It all mounts up, says Douglas, to "constructive closure" and he himself will suffer as a result of closure.

Douglas, who now lives in Stranraer but is originally from Yorkshire, berthed his 1952 Minicab aircraft at the airfield.

He says he was given two months to leave when the announcement came in March that full-time flying was to cease. West Freugh has now been fully downgraded to a care-and-maintenance status.

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