ENVIRONMENTAL group Ecologistas en Accion has called for the closure of a Costa del Sol airfield after a series of accidents.

The group has presented its case to the Ayuntamiento of Velez-Malaga for the permanent closure of the Leoni Benabu aerodrome, home of the Aero Club Malaga.

A string of incidents at the airfield, the most recent occurring back in July this year, has caused the group to analyse the safety and impact of the site on the local area.

On July 7, a small plane crashed on landing during a routine training flight, destroying the aircraft involved.

Thankfully the occupants were unharmed, but the incident punctuated a number of incidents, one being fatal, over the past three years.

In January 2017, two pilots were killed in an accident when their aircraft suffered a mechanical malfunction and crashed shortly after take-off.

The following year, a 61-year-old pilot overshot the runway and crashed into a field of crops, suffering a minor back injury.

LUCKY ESCAPE: In 2018, a 61-year-old pilot crash landed in a field of crops

Ecologistas en Accion is also concerned that, despite municipal regulations, pilots are flying at a low level over urban areas, causing excess noise pollution for schools and residential homes.

The location of the air field on the banks of the Rio Benamargosa causes incoming aircraft to approach via Velez-Malaga or Torre del Mar.

The topography of the location also causes inconsistent winds to cross the flight path, often surprising pilots when approaching the runway.

The group has also accused the airfield of operating flights outside of their designated remit.

Opened in 1995, the airfield’s sole purpose is home to the Aero Club Malaga to conduct leisure and training flights.

However GENA accuses the base of operating advertising flights, crop sprayers, tourist flights and aerial photography missions, thus voiding their operating insurance.

The Aero Club is reported to be working on a counter claim against GENA to present to the Junta.

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