The GA APPG soldiers on
“It has been a tumultuous summer in Westminster and the All-party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation has been busy working with the new Secretary of State for Transport (and former APPG Chair) the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP and his team at the Department for Transport,” APPG spokesman George Lawley tells Pilot.
“We are also pleased to announce that the proposed new Chair of the APPG is Mark Pritchard MP, the Member of Parliament for the Wrekin. Mark and other members of the APPG will be meeting to elect the new appointments and lay out the broad work structure for the APPG in the coming year. We have also been working with the new Aviation Minister, Paul Maynard MP, who wrote to us laying out how the Department for Transport will ‘champion’ General Aviation in the UK.
Earlier in the summer the APPG (GA) published the Lord Kirkhope Inquiry into Lower Airspace Design in the UK. “We are looking forward to the Government response [and] hope that the Government and the CAA will take into account the APPG’S findings in the upcoming Aviation White Paper.”
The work continues to go on within the APPG’S many Working Groups and this includes saving airfields from being closed down and turned into housing developments. The APPG has secured major changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which will protect long-established airfields from being threatened by the occupants of newly-built housing. “There has also been good news from Wellesbourne, where the local authority is completing a Compulsory Purchase Order which will keep aircraft flying for generations to come,” adds Lawley. “New investment is also going into Shoreham (Brighton City Airport), keeping the site as a cornerstone for flight training in the South East.”
Founder Chairman and nominated GA champion Byron Davies has been awarded a Peerage and will be entering the House of Lords. In the event of a General Election (which looks likely as this edition of Pilot goes to press) work by the APPG has to be suspended in the same way as Parliament itself. However, as its title suggests, the APPG has members from all political parties and will be back in action under whatever new administration is elected.