In the UK the APPG on General Aviation currently consists of more than 70 Parliamentary members from across all the major parties and both Houses of Parliament. Membership includes seven ex-Cabinet ministers and 11 Privy Councillors.
Pictured Above: In the yellow jackets, left to right: Matthew Bolshaw - APPG Public Liaison, Tim Proctor - Hayward Aviation, Matthew Day - Hayward Aviation, Sean Brown - Chief Executive, British European Aviation.
Following the recent change in regulations across Europe the need to keep open General Aviation (GA) airports becomes even more necessary into the future. The SETOps 2017 conference heard that this would be an ideal opportunity to open up the GA market right across Europe covering thousands of new routes and airports.
This was assisted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on GA visiting Wycombe Air Park to talk to businesses and airfield operators about the challenges facing the General Aviation sector, and how they can be overcome.
A number of businesses at the Air Park spoke about the highly-skilled jobs they provide in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roles. The APPG heard about the wide range of employment opportunities available at Wycombe, and how the regulatory move to allow Single Engine Turbine aircraft to fly commercial transport passengers has opened up new avenues for General Aviation expansion, due to its reduced costs and increased flexibility.
The APPG also heard about the worldwide shortage of pilots, and what the flight training school at Wycombe is doing to help produce world-class pilots.
Grant Shapps MP, Chair of the APPG, said: “It was fantastic to visit Wycombe Air Park and see an excellent example of what General Aviation does for our transport infrastructure and the wider economy. It is clear from speaking to businesses here that urgent action needs to be taken by Government to ensure the survival of General Aviation.”
Sean Brown, Chief Executive of British European Aviation, the largest employer at Wycombe Air Park, said: “I was very pleased to have the opportunity to address the APPG over the grave concerns myself and the whole General Aviation industry have on the future of airfields in the UK. We run a profitable light aviation airfield with clear benefits to the local community and wider economy. The whole of the GA community really appreciate the hard work the APPG is doing to save an irreplaceable asset to the UK.”