Huge RAF base with a small-ish but modern passenger terminal. RAF controllers are excellent (as ever) but handling is expensive, compulsory and not that helpful.
Flying to Cornwall on a clear day is gorgeous. One can see the whole peninsula in a glance. It’s easy to spot the Eden Project and the gashes and slag heaps that are the byproduct of mining for china clay. You might be able to get a Ryanair flight from Stansted to Newquay for 99p but the view’s better in our Cirrus.
Most small airports charge a modest fee for light aircraft but Newquay insists that you use a handling agent; adding £30 to the pricy £40 landing fee. Taxis to Padstow cost £18 each way and the handling agent can book them up so that they are waiting for you on arrival.
RAF St. Mawgan served as a base for the Nimrod long-range maritime patrol aircraft during the cold war but the addition of a civilian terminal has turned it into Newquay Airport but air traffic control is still staffed by excellent RAF controllers – the best in the business.
However, the controllers at St. Mawgan don’t usually work weekends if there are no incoming flights. If you want to visit on a Saturday or Sunday, call in advance so that they can put someone in the control tower for you. And don’t tell our enemies in case they decide not to attack on a weekday.
Landing fees: £19.00 per tonne or part over 2.5 tonnes
Car hire: Europcar, 0870 6075000
Aircraft charter: Focus Air Charter, 01637 860551