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Campaign Week 8: Take Flight Aviation

Mike Roberts of Take Flight Aviation
Mike Roberts of Take Flight Aviation

Location, location, location is what it’s all about for Take Flight Aviation at Wellesbourne Airfield, a business that thrives in its current situation.

The flight training school and aviators club has been run by Mike Roberts since he purchased the then single aircraft business 10 years ago.

Mike says he actually bought the business by accident in a pub, though he has clearly been determined to see it succeed.

Today the company has expanded to employ 10 instructors, has more than a dozen aircraft, and has trained more than 500 people to fly in the past decade.

Prior to running Take Flight Mike worked as a radio DJ for 10 years, before gaining his pilot’s licence in 2004 and today has more than 1,000 flight hours under his belt.

Mike Roberts said: “Wellesbourne is the second busiest general aviation airfield in the country, we actually think it is the busiest if you measured that by the hour, because we are not open 24/7.

“Being in a central location is key to my business, we are close to population hubs like Birmingham, Solihull and to people living in the Cotswolds. We would love to expand at Wellesbourne Airfield and build a new hanger, but the current uncertainty over the airfield’s future means we can’t do that at the moment.

“It would be difficult for us to move somewhere else, for example there are restrictions on how many aircraft can fly in the circuit at Coventry, which would be restrictive to training, I don’t think they would have the capacity for us.

“I love aviation. What we do at take flight is quite a unique concept because our members can take away a plane and they will only pay for the hours they fly. If we had to move we wouldn’t keep our members in the West Midlands or the local business we get at the airfield.

“I’m fairly confident that Wellesbourne will remain as an airfield, it is at the heart of the UK’s general aviation network, but this uncertainty is a concern for the business.”

“Wellesbourne is a very friendly airfield and it was voted the best light aviation airfield in the UK by the Aircraft Owners’ and Pilots’ Association last year.”

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