Cross-party group of MPs complete successful US fact-finding mission on General Aviation
A cross-party group of MPs has successfully completed a visit to Washington, D.C. to discuss the General Aviation sector with US aviation bodies. The group also visited EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin to learn more about the thriving grassroots sector and how it compares to the UK.
The MPs, who are members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation, met with two of their US counterparts from the Congressional General Aviation Caucus, Rep. Sam Graves and Rep. Marc Veasey. They then met with organisations including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and Helicopter Association International (HAI).
Topics for discussion included the regulation of General Aviation in the United States; the current legislative environment in both the US and the UK; the economic benefits of General Aviation to local and national economies; and continued mutual recognition of standards post-Brexit.
The all-party group then travelled to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to attend the world’s largest gathering of aviation enthusiasts at EAA AirVenture, and met with the organisers of the show, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), to understand how they represent the recreational aviation community. Meetings were also held with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), who organised a tech tour of the show to companies such as Hartzell Propeller Inc., Piper, Textron and BendixKing.
Following the airshow, the parliamentarians headed to Frederick, Maryland to meet with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the world’s largest aviation association, to discuss key ways of engaging more young people in aviation and General Aviation in particular. Schemes with the all-party group hopes to take forward as a result of this meeting include pushing Government to adopt a STEM curriculum in schools, and a commitment to ensure more women pursue careers in aviation.
Sheryll Murray MP, who was part of the delegation and is a member of the all-party group, said: “Our group of parliamentarians from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation have had a fascinating and incredibly worthwhile series of meetings in the United States, to learn about the overall picture of General Aviation there and identify measures that the UK Government can adopt to grow and enhance this grassroots sector here.
“It’s clear from the high-level meetings we held with the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Business Aviation Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association amongst others, that there is much more the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority can be doing to promote the importance of General Aviation, and the high-tech jobs and skills it brings.
“Colleagues from the all-party group will be coming forward with legislative proposals to get more young people, and particularly young women, involved in grassroots aviation jobs – otherwise the UK’s £60bn+ wider aviation sector will struggle to survive.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation has 174 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.
Details about the legislative proposals that the all-party group will be debating in Parliament will be released in due course.