Laurie Price passed away on 7 September after an eight-year battle with cancer. His friend and long-time flying companion Richard Heywood writes: “Aviation was in his blood, his father having been the Director of Birmingham’s Elmdon Airport. A member of 1069 (Wimborne) Squadron of the Air Training Corps he qualified for a Flying Scholarship and learned to fly at Hurn (now Bournemouth) Airport. He maintained very close links with 1069 Squadron throughout his life.
“Starting as a graduate trainee with British Caledonian Airways, Laurie became the airline’s youngest general manager at the age of 35 and developed and ran the Airlink helicopter operation between Gatwick and Heathrow. He was instrumental in strategic planning and in the operations of BCAL’S North American routes. After twenty years with British Caledonian, and subsequently with BA, Laurie went into consultancy before joining Mott Mcdonald and becoming Director of Aviation Strategy until he retired.
“Outside of his daily work, Laurie was aviation adviser to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee from 19972005, then an adviser to the All-party Parliamentary Group on Aviation until 2015. Grant Shapps, who invited Laurie to be Chairman of the Red Tape Challenge Panel between 2013-2015 and then adviser to the All Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation, paid tribute thus: “Laurie was an extraordinary man, whose judgement I trusted completely. I will miss him greatly.”
Almost thirty years after the demise of British Caledonian, Laurie still cared deeply about the airline’s ethos and spirit. At his instigation and with his persistence, two light aircraft now fly in BCAL livery with its golden lion on their tails. One, Shoreham-based Piper Warrior G-CHIP, will be named Spirit of
Laurie as a lasting tribute to him.