On the 10th December the All-Party Parliamentary Group for general aviation (APPG) held a Christmas reception in the House of Commons ostensibly to make a couple of announcements.
|The APPG which is chaired by the Right Honourable Grant Schapps MP has picked up on key issues to general aviation and has begun to address these concerns at the highest levels of government.|
The Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling MP made a number of key points when he addressed the attendees. Firstly he introduced Byron Davies, who will act as the GA champion inside the Department for Transport providing direct advice to the minister. Byron is an aircraft owner and pilot of many years, AOPA will be supporting him in his new role. Congratulations Byron we look forward to working with you in 2018.
The minister also said in respect of housing problems in the UK “housing on some airfields yes, BUT NOT ALL AIRFIELDS”. He acknowledged general aviation (GA) as being the grassroots of all aviation and post BREXIT he said that aviation will be a very important sector for the UK. The minister also said that government will do everything to secure the future of General Aviation.
|Bryan Davies in addressing the audience gave an account of how the APPG was started and thanked the minister for his foresight. Three groups will start work early in 2018, they include airfields, airspace and taxation.|
The aim of these groups in my opinion are geared towards supporting the government’s strategy of making the UK the best place in the world for GA. Finally, I was delighted to meet again Timothy Kirkhope, now Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate who, when he was an MEP did a great deal to raise the profile of European GA. As a current PA28 Pilot I know that Lord Kirkhope will do all he can to support the work of the APPG.
I see the work of the APPG as a huge opportunity for GA, this is a very positive development and one which AOPA pledges to give its full support.