All-party Group on General Aviation calls for changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on General Aviation has called for changes to the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to strengthen protection for airfields alongside the need to build more houses across the country.

In a submission to the newly appointed Housing Minister, Dominic Raab MP, the all-party group has proposed amendments to Paragraphs 33 and 41 of the existing framework, as well as Annex 2, to specifically state that ports, airports and airfields should be preserved and not lost to other forms of development.

The influential parliamentary group, consisting of 124 cross-party MPs and Peers, is hugely concerned that the UK now only has around 100 licenced airfields available to General Aviation. In their submission they point out that once an airfield is closed, it is typically lost forever, along with the associated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related jobs. However, the group believes that keeping airfields open is not incompatible with meeting housebuilding targets. And the APPG maintains that their proposed amendments would go a long way towards resolving the issue; thereby helping to maintain the UK’s prominence in aviation jobs and growth for the future.

Chair of the all-party group, the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP said, “The fact that we are now down to the last 100 licenced airfields available to General Aviation in the UK is a national emergency for the high-tech jobs and growth we all want to see. That’s why we have called for protection of airfields to be strengthened in the upcoming changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.

“The group has offered to meet with the new Housing Minister and brief him on how the Government can deliver the homes we need whilst still maintaining the UK’s network of airfields available to General Aviation.”