All-Party Parliamentary Group Update
Rally 2015

 

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation has now successfully reformed and is fully up and running again following last December’s General Election.

 

The following provides an update on the early part of this year:

 

Civil Aviation Authority Airspace consultation,  get your submissions in by 3rd March.

In response to the recommendations made by the Lord Kirkhope report, the Secretary of State has instructed the CAA to look for areas of controlled airspace which could be reclassified to open them up to General Aviation traffic.T he CAA has duly launched a consultation, asking for the GA communitys suggestions on which areas of controlled airspace should be declassified. The link to the consultation can be found here.

 

Despite the well publicised limitations of the consultation document, it is nevertheless important that GA returns a strong response. As pilots, business owners and other aviation types, you will no doubt have your own views on which bits of controlled airspace should be removed. We urge you to complete the consultation, the more evidence the CAA receives, the stronger our case will be.

 

Department for Transport - Airfield Development fund:

The Department for Transport recently announced that they will be making 2m of funding available to support small airfields. The fund is aimed at supporting small aviation businesses and helping them to grow, by providing money towards professional or legal advice. The fund will be launched later in the spring, when further details of how to apply for funding will be released. The DfTs press release can be seen here.

 

Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill:

In January the Government brought the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill to the House of Lords. The Bill will empower the Secretary of State to compel organisations to submit airspace changes, allowing the Government to carry out the Airspace Modernisation Programme. Crucially, it includes a mechanism to review airspace changes and the ability to deactivate current volumes of controlled airspace, a power not currently available to the Government or the CAA.

 

During the debate on the Bill, APPG members stood up for the interests of GA users, defending their right to roam across the UKs airspace. A full transcript of the debate can be read here.

 

New leadership for the APPG:

Following the appointment of Grant Shapps MP as Secretary of State for Transport, the Chairship of the APPG-GA was left vacant. Mark Pritchard MP took on the role briefly, but had to step aside due to other commitments. The position has now been taken up Steve Double MP. Steve is the Member of Parliament for Newquay and is a big supporter of aviation generally, looking after Newquay Airport which is in his patch.

 

To reflect the fantastic contribution of many Lords, it was decided that the position of Co-Chair should be created. The new role of Co-Chair has been filled by Lord Davies of Gower, former GA Champion and original founder of the APPG-GA. Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate, author of the APPG-GAs Lower Airspace review has taken up a role as Vice-President of the group. Sir Roger Gale MP remains our President.

 

Contact your MP:

Due to the recent election, many of you will have a new Member of Parliament, your previous one having either retired or lost their seat. You can find out who your MP is now by entering your postcode on www.theyworkforyou.com.

 

Our campaigns are only successful due to the weight of our combined membership. Therefore, the best way for you to support the APPG’s work is by writing to your MP asking them to join the APPG.

 

24th February 2020