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GAAC Press release

THE GENERAL AVIATION AWARENESS COUNCIL

RAeS House Hamilton Place London W1J 7BQ

PRESS RELEASE 23rd JULY 2012

GAAC PERSISTANCE PAYS OFF

Vigorous representation of GA interests by the GAAC has resulted in positive support for GA in the Government’s recently published Draft Aviation Policy Framework (DAPF) discussion document on aviation. Against a background of negative news on wind-farms, EASA regulations, fuel prices and Olympic restrictions to name but a few GAAC Chairman Charles Henry can report the following good news as extracted from the DfT discussion document.

Maintaining a Viable Network of General Aviation and Business Aviation.

Para 2.75 Across the UK there is a network of aerodromes of varying sizes, from airports in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and regional airports in England to small GA airfields into which GA aircraft can readily gain access. While almost all of these are privately owned and operated, maintaining access to such a national network is vital to the continuing success of the sector. GA connects many UK and international city pairs that do not have, and are unlikely to develop, scheduled air services or other direct transport links. These links are particularly important for local businesses. The closure or redevelopment of any one of these airfields can have a negative impact on the viability of the wider GA network and the local economy.

Para 2.76 Given the importance of this GA network, while recognising that at congested airports this may not be appropriate, we encourage airport operators to ensure that GA aircraft are able to continue to enjoy equitable access to their airports and in doing so take account of the needs of all users, alongside other relevant considerations.

Para 2.77 We will also carefully consider any EU legislation proposals affecting the GA sector that may emerge in the future and will seek to ensure that they are based on the principles of proportionality and subsidiarity and appropriate for the type of aircraft to which they apply. In addition, we support the CAA’s view of the Regulatory Approach to Recreational Aviation which is also aimed at ensuring that UK safety regulation is proportionate.

Para 2.78 The planning system can also impact on the viability of small and medium sized aerodromes. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is intended to simplify the Government’s overarching planning policy, but the underlying planning principles in respect of airfields remain unaltered. The NPPF states “when planning for ….airports and airfields that are not subject to a separate national policy statement, (local) plans should take account of …. (the NPPF) as well as the principles set out in the relevant national policy statements and the Government Framework for UK Aviation.”

Para 2.79 Where a planning application is made that is likely to have an impact on an existing aerodrome’s operations, account should be taken of the contribution the aerodrome makes to the local, regional and national economy. This is also something which should be considered by ACCs where appropriate. (See Chap 5).

The full document may be viewed at www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/dft-2012-35

Michael Powell

GAAC Press Officer

Tel: 01493 752232

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