Gliding to stop at Solent Airport after 60 years

Gliding at Daedalus

+VIDEO Gliding activity is to stop at the end of May at Solent Airport (formerly Daedalus Airfield) at Lee-on-Solent, after more than 60 years.

The Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre recently received an eviction order from its hangars by Fareham Borough Council.

PNGC was offered an open area with increased new tariffs and further flight restrictions but decided that these latest demands no longer allow a viable, affordable future for gliding at the airfield.

The Royal Navy has also used gliding at Daedalus to develop essential leadership and teamwork skills for its serving personnel, as well as aircrew recruitment at minimal cost to the public purse.

Other regular users include youth groups, serving personnel of all three Armed Forces, City Livery Company charity beneficiaries and disabled or blind veterans whose remaining senses are stimulated by the feel of silent flight, even without the spectacular views.

No alternative site has yet been identified and the club will close at Daedalus on 31 May 18.

Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre



  • Sleeve Wing says:

    Sick, isn’t it, that a few politicians can kick a Royal Naval organisation off the very airfield that for such a long time was the Fleet Air Arm’s Headquarters.
    Flew in a short while ago and saw the state of the old Officers’ Wardroom.
    Still, a sign of the times and the short memories of so many Council worthies these days ! Good building site though ! More rate income !!

  • Joe Edwards says:

    Only reading what is in the paper – but reading this report it might be that they have just kept their head in the sand since 2015 ? This action does not seem to have been a surprise – ie it was always going to happen – and it reported else where that they have in the order of £400k in the bank – thats a start for a hangar – plus access to charitable funding (that could be seculative I’m sure). Not starting a fight ! Nor part of it – although Deadalus was my first “airfield ” I visited as a 10 year old….

  • Russell winters says:

    I realised my dream to become a pilot at the age of 30 after it being the only thing I ever wanted to do since 6yo. I’ve lived in gosport for 38 years and have always looked up to the sky in searching for gliders and now it’s come to an end all in the name of greed and deceitful politician’s. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • steve hunter says:

    Common sense has prevailed.

    The future for this airfield is not in the Navy’s hands any more.
    The developments over the last few years have been positive and will secure the future for the site.
    How many success stories do you hear in GA these days?

  • Marjorie says:

    So very sorry to hear the sad news. I do hope you find another site and that the wonderful group of people who make up the PNGC remain together. Another blow to gliding in the UK…..

  • Phil Simpson says:

    I am a fixed wing pilot who for the last few years has made several visits a year to Lee on Solent in my PA28. The Council are doing great things at Lee-on- Solent but this is a black mark against the Council. Surely Gliding activity which is perhaps the outstanding feature of Lee on Solent Airport over the years should be included in the Grand Plan for the airport. I hope there will be a last minute change of mind. Air Law demands Gliders have priority over fixed wing aircraft, and the council should learn to be humble too.

  • Jerry Noble says:

    Disgraceful and unfair removal of one of main and original users of airfield. Hope pressure can be quickly brought to bear to resolve this situation.
    If not … no doubt many options have been considered, but presumably include:- Bembridge (former Vectis GC), Eyres Field (active gliding), and Bognor Regis (planned reopening as glider site).
    Even Thorney Island – there used to be a fly in once a year, a few microlights lived there – and Army occupied it. I’m out of date now, so all this may be history – but worth investigation
    Good luck !

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