Parliamentary Group on General Aviation calls for united response to Government’s planning consultation

UK General Aviation leaders have expressed relief that the government’s new draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) specifically recognises the importance of General Aviation for the first time.

However, despite the new breakthrough paragraph, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) is calling on everyone who wants to see a thriving UK General Aviation sector to respond en-masse to the NPPF consultation by proposing four further small amendments. Parliamentarians claim these minor tweaks are “absolutely essential” to protect and enhance the UK’s General Aviation sector; which is worth £3bn to the economy, directly employs 38,000 people in high-tech jobs and forms the basis of the far wider £60bn+ aviation sector.

Chair of the 148-strong parliamentary group, Grant Shapps MP, said: “Whilst it’s great to have General Aviation recognised in the National Planning Policy Framework for the very first time, this won’t solve the problem of a diminishing airfield network.

“If we are to maintain and enhance our position and deliver the government’s own stated objective of being the best country in the world for General Aviation, then the NPPF needs to make four further small changes. That is why I have written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, asking for four simple amendments that would make all the difference.

“Ministers do recognise that the future of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs are at stake. This consultation provides General Aviation’s chance to make sure we get this right as a nation for future generations. Now we need everyone who cares about General Aviation to take a couple of minutes to respond.”

The APPG is asking all parts of the General Aviation community to back the proposed amendments by visiting www.generalaviationappg.uk/nppf today. The whole process takes less than 60-seconds, but could keep General Aviation vibrant for future generations.

The group’s full letter to the Secretary of State for Housing can be found below.

The consultation closes on 10th May 2018.

ENDS

Notes

The APPG’s proposed amendments, which have been sent to the Secretary of State for Housing, make four minor changes as follows (the actual changes are marked in red):

  • In paragraph 105, subsection (f), remove “maintaining” and insert “protecting, maintaining and enhancing”.
  • In paragraph 180, after “music venues,” and before “and sports clubs”, insert “general aviation airfields,”
  • In the Glossary at Annex 2, under the definition of Previously Developed Land, after “This excludes:” and before “land that is or has been occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings”, insert “land that is or has been used for aviation purposes;”
  • In the Glossary at Annex 2, insert the following new definition: “General aviation airfields: Licensed or unlicensed aerodromes with hard or grass runways often with extensive areas of open land related to aviation activity. Airfields form part of the national transport infrastructure. Changes in technology will require aerodromes to adapt and change over time.”

The www.generalaviationappg.uk/nppf website allows visitors to fill in their name, address and email and their submission is then automatically sent to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government consultation response. It also allows the APPG on General Aviation to be notified of the consultation response in order to track responses and keep consultees updated on progress.