General Aviation Initiative in the UK
An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on General Aviation has been recently formed in the UK. Such cross party committees are formed to address pressing issues, ideally in a non-partisan manner.
The APPG believe that, over a period of decades, successive governments have failed to fully appreciate the critical role that General Aviation plays in promoting UK plc.
Commercial, industrial and military aviation has a strong interest in keeping a thriving General Aviation sector alive. Put simply, the importance of General Aviation to boosting scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical (STEM) skills in the wider economy cannot be overestimated.
Yet no aviation sector can exist without a network of airfields, and virtually every airfield was a product of wartime Britain. When they are closed and built on, they are never replaced. Therefore, without a shift in government policy the UK will, by default, exit both General Aviation and overall aviation as a critical sector of our economy within a generation.
Broad industry support for the aims of the APPG on General Aviation has been forthcoming and a record 130 parliamentary members, including 19 Privy Councillors, 11 former Cabinet ministers, 3 former Transport Ministers and one current Party Leader, reflecting the importance attached to promoting jobs and growth through General Aviation in Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The Secretary of State of the Department for Transport Chris Grayling has recently announced that Byron Davies will be the Government’s first ever General Aviation Champion. Byron was the first Chair of the APPG until he lost his seat in the June 2017 General Election. He is someone who understands the issues facing the General Aviation sector. He will be in charge of a project the DfT are undertaking to establish a strategic network of General Aviation airfields in the UK, and will also be very active in Airspace Strategy and the Department of Transport’s overall Aviation Strategy.