Oban Airport remains closed to non-essential flights, however a change to government guidance issued on the 17th of April now allow essential maintenance activity to take place. This includes the following :
- Maintenance flights. Post-maintenance check flights in accordance with CAP1038 are permitted but must be kept to an absolute minimum in terms of both the number and duration of flights. They must be conducted in strict accordance with the approved maintenance or flight test profile.
- Ferry flights. Flights to or from maintenance facilities for essential maintenance are permitted if such a facility is not available at the aircraft’s current location. Flights are to be by the most direct practical route with transits flown at no lower than 1,000 feet Above Ground Level (AGL).
- Engine health flights. The main way of maintaining engine health during COVID restrictions should be through winterisation or inhibition. Engine health flights are only permitted, where required by the engine manufacturer or equivalent LAA/BMAA procedures for Permit-to-Fly aircraft. Flights must follow those procedures and there must be a four-week gap between flights. Each flight must be no more than 30 minutes (or as recommended by the engine manufacturer in order to prevent internal engine corrosion). Aircraft should aim to remain within the airfield circuit. Unless safety of flight requirements dictate, the aircraft should not travel beyond a 10nm radius of its departure aerodrome and no dynamic manoeuvring activity should be flown. Each flight should be at the highest practical height to minimise to the noise impact on members of the public maintaining social distancing, and not below 1,000ft AGL except for take-off, approach and landing. If the engine manufacturer’s instructions indicate that the engine only needs to be run at idle or at low power whilst on the ground and no other essential maintenance is required, then no flight may be performed.
Strict criteria is in place for these flights, full information can be found at https://www.caa.co.uk/Our-work/Newsroom/COVID-19-guidance-for-commercial-and-recreational-aviation/
Oban Airport emphasis that only essential maintenance flights will be considered. Pilots must submit a request for maintenance flights to firstname.lastname@example.org setting out the details of how the flight matches the requirements set out by the CAA. This information is required for the airport to record the all flights and provide to the CAA if required.