15 Week 1

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Plus ša change ...

At the end of last year's trip I alluded to a number of changes that were occurring at the Sisteron club and, during my Spring visit earlier this year, I found out what they are. As I understand it, the authorities were keen to make the layout and running of the airfield more compliant with the regulations, and ex-army staff were brought in to make it happen.

The first change that I noticed was well before I set off for France; the club now employs the possibly challenging tactic of requiring that a pilot's flying account is well-funded a couple of weeks before arrival on-site. Their suggestion that this would speed up the booking-in process did not bear fruit in my case.

The airfield is now fenced and gated, accessible only by authorised vehicles - the club issues a pass on arrival. In practice, this has only proved to be a minor inconvenience. A further proposal to require all on-site cars to carry a flashing orange roof-light was quietly dropped after overwhelming negative reaction from the pilots.

Finally, the runway now carries approved markings clearly indicating where vehicles are and are not permitted. And a shifting magnetic variation has worked its magic and we now operate on runways 35/17.