• Popham Airfield Official Operating Procedures
  • Noise  !!!  Our neighbours are very noise sensitive so all pilots are requested to be considerate. There is habitation very close to each end of all the runways and also some farms in the middle of the circuit.  Even to the north in the relatively free airspace there are more stud farms and the like, so care is required.  Do not fly over the villages of Micheldever, Micheldever Station (SW), Popham (SE), Overton (N), or North Waltham (E).
  • Additional General Notes

Firstly, remember Popham radio frequency 129.80 is just that…an Air-to-Ground radio with a volunteer manning it!  Radio operating hours are from 08:00 until 17:00 in the summer and 08:30 until 16:30 in the winter (1st October - 1st April).  Flying is allowed (with prior permission) in the summer up until 20:00 (n.b. this is a planning deadline!) or sunset in the winter.  After 17:00 other traffic may often pass you advisory arrival information.  If you intend to arrive when we are closed, we request that you advise us at a suitable earlier time and leave a landing fee (with your registration) in an envelope which can be posted through the Clubhouse door opposite the toilet block.

Remember there is a signals square just next to the club house but this may not have been changed if we have gone home so check the windsocks as well!

Runway 08/26 is the usual choice.  Runway 03/21 is on farm land, is strictly NOT part of Popham, and therefore subject to the 28-day "change of use" planning rule (n.b. ONE movement = 1 of the 28 days!)

Circuits are all to the north at 800ft QFE, with 08/26 having offset approaches (see later).

There can be extensive microlight traffic which tends to fly a tight inner circuit as well as the usual mixture of other flying machines flying the published circuit to stay north of a couple of noise sensitive farms.

Overhead joins should generally be used though it is common practice to use a dead side join over the woods when using 08/26 and approaching from the south.  N.B. On fly-in days we get VERY BUSY.  If the wind is favourable you can expect be given an overhead join only and to find both runways in use at the same time, one for landing and one for departure to ease ground congestion.  On these occasions the signal square "T" will always display the landing runway and there will be a white ball above the "T" if both runways are in use.


  • Popham Runways


Runway Surface TORA LDA Lighting Notes
08/26 Grass 914m

(780m if R26 hold intersection departure is used)

700m Nil Approx 150 - 200m unusable due to the offset approach to the numbers
03/21 Grass 900m 900m Nil Runway 03 slopes down all the way

Aerial views of Popham

Click any picture for more views of Popham

  • Runway 26 (right hand circuit 800ft QFE)

The approach is offset to avoid the filling station east of the threshold. Do not under any circumstances over fly it.  There is an arrow in the woods on final approach to the runway to assist; if you miss it a track which bisects an imaginary “straight in” and RW21 won’t be far off the mark. Remember, the idea is to avoid the station and the trees around it; if you do this, the exact track is not critical.  You will come in to the side of runway and NEVER arrive over the takeoff threshold.  A "normal" touchdown will be approximately abeam the windsock on the south side.  Runway 26 has a slight down slope at its threshold…aiming to touch down in this area for non-microlight aircraft risks frightening the locals by the need to fly a skidding turn at low level and simply paralleling the ground as you flare. Aiming for “the numbers” makes the latter stages of the approach less dramatic and ensures a touchdown where the up slope begins, giving ample landing run for most light aircraft. With a strong south to south westerly breeze there is a significant roll over effect from the trees to the south of the A303 which can add to the fun, but one is then usually shielded by the trees for the latter stages of approach and touchdown. With a strong north westerly wind there can also be roll over effect and possible wind shear as you make the final turn into the runway.  Departing Runway 26 involves taxiing up to the threshold on either the north or south side of the runway where the view of the final approach path can be impaired. For this reason the hold point and run up area on the north side is not at the threshold but at the bottom of the slope.  Only ONE aircraft is allowed on the runway at any time.  Do not pass the holding point if there is an aircraft waiting for takeoff or on final approach unless directed by ATC.    You may use the intersection entry at the holding point for Runway 26 if you are ready for IMMEDIATE DEPARTURE and will not interfere with anyone on finals.  There is 780m available from this entry point.  Look out, listen out, ask ATC for assistance if in doubt, but remember the final responsibility for separation is YOURS! After departure, when at the end of the runway make a gentle right turn onto about 285° (not before the water tower) to go straight to the silos to ensure some houses on BOTH SIDES of the departure path will not be over flown.

  • Runway 08 (left hand circuit 800ft QFE

Once again an offset approach, this time to ensure some houses on BOTH SIDES of the arrival path will not be over flown. There are some grain silos which mark the recommended final approach track, and pilots will be told to report “final over the silos” and maintain the offset approach all the way to the runway.  The offset is more gentle than Runway 26, just avoid the temptation of crossing the silos then immediately sidestepping to a “straight” final and still going over the houses. The access road to the airfield passes under you as you “cross the hedge” and you are then left with a gentle but lengthy down slope to land on. Departing causes no real problems, just ensure that the hedge by the access road does not block your view of traffic on final; using the southern taxiway can give a better view. A gentle left turn after departure to avoid the garage and then backtrack the approach arrow for Runway 26 is recommended.


  • Runway 21 (right hand circuit 800ft QFE)

Long, narrow, and a steady up slope, sometimes boggy at the threshold end in winter but altogether smoother than 08/26. You are far enough away from the trees that the roll over effect mentioned for Runway 26 is rarely a problem except on the windiest of days.  If in doubt about clearing the woods, after departure turn right to follow the track of Runway 26 then right again out over the silos.  This keeps a few more EFATO options available!

  • Runway 03 (left hand circuit 800ft QFE)

Long, narrow, and a down slope all the way!  Microlights tend to fly a final approach course along Runway 08 then turn on a VERY short final so a good look out on final is required if you are a big boy coming over the trees.  Turbulence may be encountered due to the fact the wind is going “up hill” and then hitting the trees.  Departure is absolutely standard (phew!)

For special events such as the Microlight Trade Fair and the Aero Auto Jumble additional holding points will be established at the Runway 03 departure point.  "Hold A" will be on the East side (close to the ATC Caravan) as you leave the east side aircraft park just before lining up.  "Hold B" will be on the West (Clubhouse) side just before lining up.


  • Ground Taxi Procedures

Runway 08/26 has a taxiway both to the north and south whereas 03/21 only has one, which is on its north western side.  The general aircraft manoeuvring area is very poor in parts, especially in front of the Clubhouse to the north of 08/26 between the clubhouse and the fuel truck. AVGAS and most standard grades of oil are available.

Visiting aircraft are invited to park just to the east of the holding point sign for RW26, though on fly-in days these procedures are varied as the entire airfield tends to become one large parking lot!  If you are non-radio then please also ask when you get PPR where you will probably park before putting your prize possession in someone else's spot!


  • Other traffic, Airfields, and Airspace

To the north of Popham there is fairly free airspace.  Out to the west there is the Boscombe Down / Middle Wallop CMATZ; the LARS frequency for Boscombe is 126.70. To the south is the Solent CTA and Solent Approach are on 120.225 but the zone is avoided by traffic from the southeast by routing via New Alresford. To the East is the Odiham MATZ controlled by Farnborough on 125.250 with the MATZ stub almost north of the field.  Please note that Solent do have a "Listening Squawk" of 0011 but get very busy and with the extension of the Farnborough LARS it can be easier to avoid any contact with Solent and get a Farnborough squawk when passing down the East side of the Southampton Zone.  Solent will report ALL airspace busts!


Odiham and Middle Wallop are very active military helicopter bases.  Chinook and Gazelle helicopters will regularly be seen conducting training, often at very low level. Helicopter training from Middle Wallop is a regular feature of "our" airspace, again often at low level.  This military traffic RARELY speaks to Popham ATC but if they do then pay particular attention to call signs such as "Vortex NNN" (usually a Chinook or a Merlin), "Army Air NNN" (usually a Gazelle or a twin Squirrel) etc.

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Copyright © 2004 Chris Thompson Popham Airfield
Last modified: 03-Aug-2016