COMMERCIAL flights are leaving from Carlisle's Airport... but only on a simulator. 

Gary Summons, who lives near Dumfries, has been creating flight-sim scenery for over 25 years through UK 2000 Scenery and has now added to the dormant Carlisle Lake District Airport to his creations. 

The new virtual adaptation of the airport seven miles from Carlisle is giving gamers the chance to land and take off from runways via Microsoft Flight Simulator. 

"I'm not aware of any professionally made version of the airport for the modern Microsoft flight simulator, so I thought this would be a good small project for me as it's almost my local airport," Gary said. 

To create the map, Gary had to visit the site. 

"I did visit the airport last month and it was a hard job just to navigate the massive potholes to get to The Old Tower area on the north side. Clearly, no one is maintaining even the access.

The airport which is run by the Esken Group, formerly known as Stobart Group Limited, has been dormant since 2020. 

"It's sad to see the airport struggling and if the unthinkable should happen and it closes, at least this scenery will be a historical record for the future.

"Personally, I do think there is great potential for the airport, maybe not on the scale of a normal passenger airport, but certainly general aviation," Gary said. 

News and Star: Scenery showing Solway Aviation Museum Scenery showing Solway Aviation Museum (Image: UK Scenery 2000)

"It's nice to see the Solway Aviation Museum is still going strong and I hope they succeed in the fundraising to move the Beverly aircraft to the site.

"I haven't modeled the actual correct aircraft at the museum, instead I have used generic Microsoft models except the Vulcan bomber which is an absolute must-have due to its prominent visual impact on the site," Gary said. 

In a positive step,  Esken aims to sell Carlisle Lake District Airport by the end of February, alongside other 'non-core' assets within its portfolio. 

The move has since been welcomed by Cumbria's leaders. 

Carlisle's MP John Stevenson believes the prospective sale would be a valuable addition to the city during its period of transformation, stating that he would be "delighted to see it acquired by another business".

The simulator is available for purchase through the Microsoft Marketplace.