New owners for Brighton City Airport (Shoreham)

Brighton City Airport

Brighton City Airport – better known to many pilots as Shoreham – has a new owner. Cyrrus Ltd, an aviation consultancy, has bought a 25-year lease for the airport, located on the UK’s south coast.

Tony Realff, current managing director of Brighton City Airport, will be stepping down this week after 55 years in the aviation industry. He will be replaced by Rob Cooke, managing director of Cyrrus. Rob Cooke’s experience includes senior management roles at Birmingham, Doncaster-Sheffield and Durham Tees-Valley airports.

Rob Cooke said, “Tony has done a great job here and we want to reassure everyone that it will be business as usual at Brighton City Airport.

“In the longer term, Cyrrus and partners are aiming to improve operational facilities for the private and executive fliers who use or visit the airport, as well as for the flight-training companies based here.

“We aim also to enhance the airport’s much-admired social visitor functions, not least the thriving restaurant/bar facilities in the airport’s iconic 1930s art deco terminal building.

Brighton City Airport

Shoreham’s iconic 1930s terminal building

“Acquiring Brighton City Airport is a great opportunity to develop and improve a much-loved local operational base for private and executive flight operations, as well as developing a go-to destination for leisure fliers, and an opportunity to add to the local and regional economy.”

Also joining the BCAL team is Barry Hawkins, director of aviation services. Barry Hawkins founded Cyrrus in year 2000 after a career in military and civil air traffic operations.

Barry said, “Cyrrus has built its business on advising the world’s biggest commercial airports and air traffic control agencies on how they should manage their work better.

“With the acquisition of Brighton City Airport, we now have an ideal opportunity to show that – unlike many consultants without current operational responsibilities – we really do know how to put our advice to work.”

Brighton City Airport (formerly known as Shoreham) is the world’s oldest purpose-built airport, having officially opened for business in June 1911. It has both grass and asphalt runways, making it suitable for private flying, flight training and lighter executive aircraft.

The airport currently handles around 40,000 to 50,000 aircraft movements each year, making it one of the busiest general aviation airports in the UK. It has its own air traffic control facility and is equipped with runway and taxiway lighting for after-dark operations within licensed hours. Cyrrus is helping the airport to develop satellite-based approach procedures for use in low-visibility conditions.



  • John Webb says:

    Let’s hope the new owner/s will return it to being a GA friendly aerodrome ie sensible light aircraft landing fees.

  • Martin Leusby says:

    Absolutely second that. Used to be a favourite place to visit, dine etc., but now priced out. They’ve lost more than just the landing fee and fuel purchase etc.

  • Steve says:

    I agree with the above comments, I used to flying there regularly but now it’s just too expensive……. It’s a shame it’s price it self out of the marketplace for GA flying.

  • Fred says:

    Sadly it looks like we are witnessing the endgame for general aviation. Expensive landing fees, airspace grabs, proposed unworkable changes to VFR rules in class D and other ill considered SERA proposals. This is moving towards training only for military and airline pilots

    • P Johnson says:

      Agree with all comments so far. Shoreham was a regular favourite, but haven’t been there for years. Expensive, dire cafe and pretty unwelcoming.

      • Jonathan Owen says:

        If you haven’t been there for years you wouldn’t know just how good the cafe now is.
        Shoreham may be slightly more expensive than some others but it truly is a great destination to fly

        • Rob says:

          Agree with this – the restaurant/cafe/bar is one of the best and is hugely popular now. The landing fee is a bit pricey though.

  • Rob says:

    Dire café?! Erm … I think you might want to update that opinion.

    Also, I often wonder about the logic of complaining about landing fees (airfield income) and the closure of airfields. Are landing fees part of the vital income airfields need to stay open?

    There are limits, of course. (I’m looking at you, Bristol/Lulsgate.)

  • Don’t bother phoning to complain about the frequency of take offs and landings out over the west beach estate because they put the phone down on you even before you get the complaint out. Then to make matters worse when you try to ring back they pick up the phone and put receiver down straight away,try again they cant take your call and ask you to leave a message after the tone , before you can do that they say goodbye Now I’ve lived on West Beach estate for over 40 years and never complained about anything But these constant take off are awful, cant sit in the garden cant leave doors & windows open .Its never been like this what has changed?

  • Mr R T Allcorn. says:

    We live on the Park Home site at the end of the main runway so we must expect noise from aircraft landing and taking of, but our site is not in a direct line to the runway South the direct line for aircraft taking of and landing is over the fields between our site and the railway lines and yet after I have had meetings in my home with the managing Director and the Safety Officer the vast majority of aircraft taking of or landing come over either my home or garden sometimes at heights of 10/15 metres. As our homes are built with Timber and Ply our fears which I have taken up with the Aviation Authority is that if an aircraft crashes as the one did in East Sussex this week killing the pilot on our units we would not have a chance of surviving or if a part of an aircraft fell on us we would be killed. So I ask again why can’t aircraft taking of or landing from the South do so over open Fields where there are no pylons or Cables or trees which would reduce the danger and be 40% quieter for us on the ground.

  • Mr R T Allcorn says:

    You have not replied to my notice sent to you on the 8-8-2020 regarding the DANGEROUS FLYING by Pilots useing your Airport when flying North to South and instead of keeping a strait line which is the correct procedure according to the Aviation Authority we have aircraft flying over our property as Low as 15 metres from the ground. In recent days I have Videos showing there numbers clearly flying over my Conservatory which is putting our Lives in Danger. These Videos will be sent to the Aviation Authority at Gatwick Airport and be kept on record here waiting for one of your aircraft to crash on or near us like the one did last week in East Sussex killing the pilot.

Leave a Reply


We use cookies to give you the best online experience. Please let us know if you agree to all of these cookies.