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Camping at airfields?

Hi Everyone,

Let me introduce myself shortly
I’m Ruben, a fresh PPL holder with slightly over 70 hours of flight under my belt as of yet, currently studying the ATPL theory and hour-building towards my CPL (modular route). I Live and fly out of the Netherlands and thus far i’ve flown in the Netherlands, Germany and Hungary (got my PPL over there). I usually rent either a C-172 or a sportcruiser (ps-28) at my local flight school based at EHDR and i have the oppurtunity to rent them for about 5 days.

As i haven’t really got any vacation plans this summer i’m looking to make some nice trips abroad, do you guys have any recommendations for airfields which offer the oppurtunity to camp at the airfield, or in the vicinity,. I’d like to just throw a tent and sleeping bag in the back and fly around europe.

Obviously a good bit of scenery would be nice, and perhaps some oppurtunities to go hiking/biking.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!


EHDR, EHGG, Netherlands

Loads of threads here. There is no airfield full database that shows whether camping is allowed or not. Depends on what is meant by camping, who you ask, how you ask, etc. Anyway, a lot of small strips in most countries allow it.

As it’s summer, why not fly north? Visingsö is epic. Or Kumlinge. Maybe back via Ruhnu or Nida? The options are countless.

Mainz (EDFZ) & Egelsbach (EDFE), Germany

Basically all grass fields and other smaller airports will allow you to stay the night under your wing. Probably same in Norway and Finland and many other countries.

Yes, Visingsö(ESSI) is indeed a nice one. ESTF would also be nice. Or come to ESSZ and get a seaplane lesson. :)

ESSZ, Sweden

Around here, you could use ENMO and ENSU and probably a few other such strips, but you have to be comfortable with shortish grass airstrip…

ENVA, Norway

I would find a few destinations where you want to go, then email/call the airfield and ask if camping is available a) next to the aircraft, b) at the airfield, or c) nearby. Maybe ask for their advice/recommendations too; most people want to help, but have to be asked the right way.

If it’s a yes, check what facilities they have. I camped at Propriano LFKO a couple of times, but just outside the airfield gate. The downside is there was no shade and it was a bit basic: restaurant (lunchtime only), toilets (locked at night), and a shower (very yucky; the hangar hosepipe was better).

The following summer we hired rental cars and stayed in a real campsite 15 minutes’ drive away.

Both were good in different ways. I think I actually preferred the rustic option because it was more spontaneous and fun. I was younger too

Let us know how it goes

EGHO-LFQF-KCLW, United Kingdom

You can’t plant your tent directly on LFKO airfield, but just ahead on the beach :D. But in summer time:
-there will be probably alot of people around.
-In the case the water is high, the small river to cross to access the beach will be 1.20+ meter deep, hard to move your stuff in a dry way.

I am not saying that it is fully legal, but just ossible if you don’t settle too early in the afternoon, and you’ll have to pack your stuff early in the morning.
A taxi can be taken to Propriano city otherwise. Do not expect too much on Uber or Bolt, this is Corsica.

Red is physical limit of the airfield, the blue bubble is where you can plant your tent using the walking path in orange, the other blue line on upper left being the river crossing. 2 years ago, you could fully exclude reaching the beach without going through the river. Now that weather has been very dry for some time, it’s difficult to say.

Last Edited by greg_mp at 26 Jun 09:50
LFMD, France

As a general guide, in my experience:

If has commercial traffic – won’t allow camping.
If field has ATC (as distinct from AFIS or Radio)- then won’t allow camping.
If has security fence around perimeter – probably won’t allow camping, but might. Worth asking.
Grass strip – very likely to allow camping.

So you’re essentially looking at the smaller, GA fields, without ATC and formal barriers. Most of these will allow it, even if nobody has camped there before.

I’ve camped at a few where I asked and was facilitated, even though nobody had asked before. A common response was “we’ve no facilities, but if you’re happy with that, then go right ahead!”. One or two places even (without asking) left toilets and canteen unlocked so that we could use them during the night / breakfast.

One I remember when stuck waiting on the weather to clear, wouldn’t let us camp, (lot of security) but did let us sleep on the sofa in the offices.

I’d follow Capitaine’s advice and ask some places in advance. Don’t expect much in the way of toilet or shower facilities. So it’s good to plan a day on a proper campsite or hotel/guest house every few days to make sure you can freshen up. In the mean time, baby wipes are your friend

EICL Clonbulogue, Ireland

I have just returned from Namur (EBNM). There were people camping outside the fence with facilities available.

EDMB, Germany

Like Fly310 mentioned, basically at all grass fields you can camp freely also in Finland – and often even at paved airfields if they don’t have any atc.
And if camping is not allowed somewhere, in Finland (perhaps in Sweden, too??) you are allowed to put your tent almost anywhere as long as you don’t disturb anyone – so simply walk some 100 meters out from the field and put your tent below trees there. Fully legal.
A lot of these fields do not have any landing/parking fees either – but some do. I can find it out for you if needed.
Karsamaki EFKR in center of Finland has a pretty cheap, pretty good camping area for 15 euros/tent some 300 meters from the runway (no airfield fees). And the town less than 1 km away. Those places are nice if you need to wash clothes some day.
The nordic countries Finland, Sweden, Norway are nice in the summer, as the nights are so short – actually in the far north the sun is shining all “night” long for several weeks. Something worth of experiencing at least once. But never can trust in the weather – may be hot for weeks or raining cats and dogs all the time.

EFFO EFHV, Finland

There are many camping threads but they tend to be specific to airfields, and a great thread on the equipment is here.

The vast majority of airfields – well over 95% I am sure – do not allow camping, but of course if you only fly to 10 airfields of which 9 do allow it, then the “vast majority” will be the other way round

In most cases there is a campsite somewhere, like Alderney. The more adventurous can also do “wild camping” which is by definition illegal but it fine if you can hide in some bushes, and is a lot easier still if you set up and depart during darkness. I have checked out wild camping on the Scilly Isles for example and it would be dead easy.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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