IT IS one of Scotland’s oldest and most celebrated clubs for would-be aviators, helping budding pilots take to the air above the capital.
But more than eight decades after it was founded, the Edinburgh Flying Club is to close for good at the end of this month.
The member-run organisation, which was founded in 1934, is one of the country’s longest-established flying clubs. It has been based at Edinburgh Airport for nearly 50 years, where its trainee pilots and instructors use the same runways and airspace as commercial airliners.
However, the flying club’s committee has informed its members that it is no longer able to make the business viable. In a message posted on its website, entitled “Goodbye and thanks for all the flights”, it confirmed that the last flight will take off and land on 31 March, describing it as a “very sad day” for the club and aviation across the UK.
The statement explained: “Over the recent years, a number of factors have taken their toll on Edinburgh Flying Club, making operations increasingly difficult.
“Whilst the committee and the instructors have tried hard to keep the club running, and investigate means of maintaining a flying presence at Scotland’s capital city, the committee has reluctantly concluded that flying operations shall cease with effect from 31 March.”
It added: “Existing members can continue to fly until that date; however, we are not accepting new members or students and are no longer offering trial flights.
“This will end a period of club flying and private pilot’s license training which stretches back over 80 years, and marks a very sad day for the club and for general aviation in the UK.
“Thank you to everyone who has ever supported the club or flown with us in the past.”
The club originally operated from Macmerry Airfield in East Lothian.
Other than a brief stay at nearby East Fortune while Edinburgh Airport’s runways were being strengthened, it has been in its current location ever since.