The General Aviation Awareness Council (GAAC), a body representing more than 40 aviation organisations, says more needs to be done to protect airfields and to establish a ‘Network’ of Airfields in law.

GAAC is active in supporting the work of the various Working Groups of the All Party Parliamentary Group for General Aviation (APPG/GA) with several GAAC Board members active on working groups, including chairing those on taxation and airfields.

Among other issues GAAC is involved in are airspace change proposals, and the requirement to better balance the needs of all airspace users; the need for more flight instructors and to address the theoretical knowledge requirements (currently to CPL level); and the development of GNSS approaches in the UK, which has fallen well behind the U.S. and France, which has been establishing such approaches for several years. At present the UK only has a handful, which is causing a training bottleneck as well as pilots are increasingly required to have experience of GPS approaches.

However the main activity of the GAAC is efforts to protect UK airfields from housing developers who see them as easy targets, that are protected very poorly by planning law. The situation is serious and GAAC has retained the services of an expert surveyor, who has done excellent work liaising with various airfields and lobby groups. Funding these efforts is difficult and although GAAC is grateful to receive contributions from some of its supporting aviation organisations (most notable AOPA, LAA and BGA), it is seeking further donations either from individuals or companies/organisations to fund its work. It is also seeking a sponsor for the redevelopment of its website, work which is ready to proceed in October 2018. DONATE TO GAAC.

Update on Airfields

GAAC board member John Walker continues to keep the list of airfields under threat up to date. John is also a board member of AOPA and at the AOPA Members Working Group at White Waltham Airfield on 29th September 2018, he reported that the number on the list had now increased to 42. This is in part due to more military airfields becoming available as targets for housing developers.

PLEASE SEE THE LATEST AERODROMES UPDATE BY CLICKING HERE

About Ian Sheppard

Ian Sheppard is an aviation journalist and pilot based at Redhill Aerodrome, near London Gatwick Airport. Ian graduated in aeronautical engineering from the University of Bath in 1992, and after postgraduate studies in avionics and flight dynamics at Cranfield, worked for the Royal Aeronautical Society in the 90s. He has been a reporter for Flight International and Aviation International News, where he is currently Senior Editor - International, and News Editor for GA Buyer Europe magazine. Before that he edited AOPA UK's magazine, the ERA magazine and African Aerospace. Ian worked for Airclaims, 2000-4, before gaining legal qualifications, but decided to continue in aviation media rather than become a lawyer. He has a CPL and FI having originally learned to fly in 1991.