The All-Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation has written to Business Secretary Greg Clark MP highlighting the key role the General Aviation sector can play in supporting the UK’s Industrial Strategy.
The all-party group has requested to meet with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to discuss how Government can better support the sector, particularly with regards to business rates, apprenticeships and enterprise zones.
In the letter, Chair of the Group Grant Shapps MP drew attention to General Aviation’s ability to generate jobs and growth, even in the face of poor underlying economic conditions.
Between 2005 and 2013 the value of each hour flown by General Aviation Pilots increased by 8% in real terms, whereas overall UK productivity remained stagnant. The letter also points out the role General Aviation plays in supporting the growth of small businesses and development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills amongst young people.
Commenting on the letter, Grant Shapps said: “The UK’s £3bn General Aviation industry makes an enormous contribution to the UK economy. It has long been recognised as a catalyst for jobs and growth – training up the pilots, technicians and air traffic controllers the broader aviation sector needs to function.
“And with 100,000 more aviation jobs on the way thanks to Heathrow’s new runway, a healthy General Aviation sector has never been more vital.
“However, despite all this, successive governments have completely ignored the sector. This meeting represents an important step in changing that attitude – putting General Aviation at the heart of the Government’s Industrial Strategy”