All-party General Aviation group “perturbed” at lack of commitment from Ministry of Defence to support aviation use at military aerodromes
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation has expressed its concern about “significant disparities” between the outcome of a meeting with the Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood MP, and his subsequent letter to the all-party group.
In a meeting with the Chair of the group Grant Shapps MP, Mr Ellwood pledged to look again at the Ministry of Defence’s plans to sell off 15 military aerodromes across the country. Specifically the Minster acknowledged that Government had “skin in the game” in ensuring that aviation use continued at these aerodromes where possible, as the sites could be required for military use in future.
However, the Minister’s follow-up letter to the all-party group following that meeting failed to acknowledge many of the outcomes of the meeting, including working with the Department for Transport in its strategic review of the General Aviation sector.
As a result, the all-party parliamentary group has written back to the Defence Minister asking how the commitments from the meeting are being progressed. The Minister’s letter to the APPG, and the APPG’s reply, can be read in full below.
Chair of the 157-strong All-Party Parliamentary Group, Grant Shapps MP, said: “Our meeting with the Defence Minister was very worthwhile and extracted some helpful commitments, including supporting continued aviation use at the 15 military aerodromes being disposed of, where possible. So parliamentarians were very concerned to see no mention of these commitments in the Minister’s follow-up letter.
“As we celebrate 100 years of the Royal Air Force, which has inspired generations of young people into pursuing high-tech jobs in aviation, we have written back to the Minister to ask specifically what the Ministry of Defence is doing to support General Aviation. We look forward to the Minister’s reply”.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation has 157 parliamentary members from across both Houses of Parliament, and all the major political parties. The full membership can be found at www.GeneralAviationAPPG.uk/parliamentary-members.
The APPG has an Airfields Working Group, looking specifically at issues facing aerodromes across the country. The group’s work programme can be downloaded here: www.GeneralAviationAPPG.uk/airfields.