Rouen Vallée de Seine Airport: users have had enough of illegal occupations

Rouen Vallée de Seine Airport: users have had enough of illegal occupations

The association of users of the Rouen Vallée de Seine airport condemns the repeated occupation of the grass runway by passengers. (©DR)

Rouen Vallée de Seine Airport Users and Supporters Associationcreated in 2015 in the face of the threat of closing or even downgrading the airport platform, is mobilizing again to condemn they have enough users website, in the face of “laxity” of managers, namely airport joint unionconsisting mainly of Métropole Rouen Normandy and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Rouen. The association, chaired by Alain Stephanopoli, intends to make itself heard again and get answers to its questions.

The illegal and repetitive occupation of Travellers

The association points to three problems: the illegal and repeated occupation of Travelers, which makes it impossible to use the grass runway of the airport, the fees that have seen an excessive increase under the agreements for the occupation of the site for users and, finally, the rumors of real estate projects.

CCI, when asked about these points, sent the proposal to Metropolis, stating that it is of course co-administrator of the airport with Metropolis, but that it is “currently in the process of responding to the new Delegation of Public Services (DSP). Consequently, CCI has withdrawn from the management of the platform pending the award of the DSP”.

Impediment to the activities of airport users

According to the association “Users of the area of ​​general aviation and leisure who use the secondary landing area of ​​the airport are regularly limited in their activities by decisions to close the grass strip, decisions taken on the basis of security measures, facing the invasion of Travelers” condemns Alain Stephanopoli, who tries to list, how many times the country is occupied by Travellers, so that there are so many of them when the summer comes.

As the sites are rehabilitated after each occupation, a new community of Travelers arrives to settle. Occupancy is becoming more frequent and longer and longer. Again this year, in 2022, the track was closed from June 29th to July 17th… and closed again on September 1st.

Alain StephanopoliChairman of the airport users’ association

High traffic area question for Travelers

So the development of a very busy area, which is regularly controversial within the Rouen-Normandie metropolis and which is currently not in accordance with the law in this area, is back on the table. After mobilizing the municipalities of Saint-Martin-du-Vivier and Isneauville to oppose this development on the Ronce plain, Métropole chose and decided during the Metropolitan Council in September 2021 that it would be the municipality of Oissel that would host this facility… k displeasure of the mayor, who on the other hand criticized the lack of consultation.

Métropole president Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol then insisted that Métropole had been illegal in this high-traffic area for 17 years and that if it did not choose a site, it would be up to the prefect to decide… Meanwhile, the issue remains unresolved and Travelers continue to settle where they can and where they can find space. And as such, the airport’s grass runway is an almost inevitable stopover for them every year.

Economic impacts for users

And according to Alain Stéphanopoli, this occupation of the place is not without consequences. “These occupations of the area prevent the smooth running of the activities of aircraft owners (aircraft or microlights) or even the gliding club. Their farms are in financial jeopardy,” says the president of the association. Moreover, he believes that this situation is not acceptable not only for the facility, but also for “passengers who park at the airport in deplorable conditions, without sanitary facilities…”.

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Bonuses: up more than 45%

Alain Stéphanopoli continues his remarks with the subject of the renewal of the contract of use of users, with “a fee that increases by more than 45%, despite the obstacle to the performance of their activity. An increase that is not justified by any development work or improvement of the services provided,” he says.

In conclusion, the president of the association also wonders about the “new real estate projects of CCI and Metropolis” in the place “at the expense of aviation activity”.

At the time of publication of this article, Métropole had not yet responded to our questions.

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