1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes)
Action for Airfields - Supporters network helping to support airfields now and for the future Action for Airfields - Supporters network helping to support airfields now and for the future

Search the A4A web

1pix.gif (807 bytes) 1pix.gif (807 bytes)
DETR Consultation paper "The Future of Aviation"
Deadline Expired: 12/04/01 [Update]
alert_line.gif (538 bytes)
Alert The government is preparing its white paper on air transport which includes an airports policy looking ahead 30 years. Public comments are now being invited, and this is your chance add your voice in support of GA facilities.
alert_line.gif (538 bytes)
Action Comments are to be received by the DETR no later than 12/04/01. The address is

Mr Richard Beavis
Airports Policy Division
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Zone 1/28
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DR

Alternatively, responses can be faxed on 020 7944 2191 or sent by e-mail to atcd@detr.gsi.gov.uk

You can specify that your response should not be copied or disclosed to others. More details of the consultation process can be found here.

Print this off and pass it to members of your flying club, group, school, etc and suggest that they, too, should write.

Please do add your voice in support of GA. It's important that you write in your own words. If you are not sure how best to respond then the GAAC have made a detailed response. Individual responses which echo the key issues will demonstrate the level of feeling within the aviation community. You can also use the material below to help form your response.

alert_line.gif (538 bytes)
More Info The full paper can be viewed on-line here. The section on General Aviation can be viewed here.

Amongst other things, the white paper will need to consider aviation's effect on policies of local authorities and Regional Development Agencies.

The consultation paper recognises the fact that GA is being squeezed out of larger/regional airports. It also recognises the restriction and loss of smaller airports. The benefit of GA to local and regional economies is highlighted. Also highlighted is the current difficulties surrounding noise issues, but it re-affirms the planning system as the means to address this.

Specific questions that comments are being sought relating to GA are:-

a) Should Government policy on general aviation build upon PPG13, perhaps with stronger guidelines about what should constitute suitable facilities for general aviation?

b) Will it be possible to allow business aviation access to major airports where there is a pressing need to make the most efficient use of limited capacity?

How should you respond?

The most important issue that needs to be addressed is that there is no unified national policy on aerodromes. General aviation plays an important role in local and regional economies, in the national transport infrastructure, and in the national need for pilots. However, planning policy for GA facilities is in the hands of local authorities, and the national importance of the role of GA is not reflected in local planning requirements.

In determining planning policy, local authorities are required to be guided by government planning policy guidelines (PPG's).

PPG13 recognises the importance of smaller aerodromes in serving "...local business needs, especially in outlying areas, as well as  recreational flying." It also urges local authorities to take account of GA's contribution to "...local and regional economies and the benefits of having suitable facilities within a reasonable distance of each sizeable centre of population."

Whilst the latest draft revision of PPG13 also recognises training and emergency services and the benefit of GA to the need for national pilot training, it still does not require the local authority to consider GA facilities as part of the national transport infrastructure.

Without the need to consider the greater picture, local authorities become excessively sensitive to purely local issues. Thus the part an aerodrome plays in the national transport infrastructure becomes of secondary importance to local financial or housing priorities that can often be met by redeveloping the aerodrome. Thus also the strident protests of a local minority are increasingly allowed to degrade the national network of smaller aerodromes.

This latter is compounded by problems with current guidance on noise (PPG24). This is an imperfect guide and less than clear in respect of GA developments. The situation is made worse for GA by the aviation authority's refusal to accept silencer fits that have been certified elsewhere in Europe.

The number of GA related planning applications which succeed is well below the figure for all categories of application. However, the number of GA cases which subsequently succeed in appeal is higher than for all other categories. The implication is that local authority planning departments are not sufficiently informed to decide on GA issues and this underlines the need for stronger policy and guidance relating to GA.

As access to larger aerodromes is denied and smaller aerodromes are restricted or closed, displaced flyers and schools seek alternative facilities. This has a domino effect which brings yet more GA facilities under pressure. The loss of aerodrome facilities should be managed in the context of providing alternative facilities, either at existing sites or on new sites.

It can not be emphasised enough - GA facilities are a national resource and must be treated by local authorities within the context of a strong central policy which safeguards and nurtures their national contribution.

Facts and figures

Research based on aviation charts, flight guides, and historical works shows that since 1985 the number of licensed GA friendly aerodromes which are so vital for commercial activities, including pilot training, has declined by 20%.

In 1988 43% of all pilots entering the air transport industry (i.e. commercial pilots) came from the private flying/club sector. Currently this figure is in the region of 60%.

Compared to the UK commercial fleet of 850 aircraft, the UK GA fleet stands at more than 10,000 aircraft.

More than 70% of all GA activity has some business or safety purpose. 85% of all airline seats are sold for pleasure purposes.

While local authorities grant 87% of all applications, they grant only 37% of applications for GA developments. While the Planning Inspectorate allow 33% of all appeals, they allow 57% of GA related appeals.

vertline100.gif (88 bytes)
vertline100.gif (88 bytes)
vertline100fade.gif (387 bytes)
If you would like to receive e-mail notification of these alerts you can do so by joining the A4A supporters network

sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)DETR Paper
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Chapter on GA
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Consultation Process
sm_bull_pdf.jpg (528 bytes)PPG13
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Draft revision PPG13
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)GAAC Response

sm_bull_pdf.jpg (528 bytes)PDF File
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)HTML File

Return to Alerts Index

1pix.gif (43 bytes)
lowline.gif (538 bytes)
[ Top of Page ]