Stephen, a respected and long-standing columnist of Pilot magazine, will formally take up the post on 1st September, following a phased hand-over with outgoing CEO Philip Hall.

Brian Davies, Chairman of the Association, welcomed the news saying; “We are delighted that Stephen has agreed to join us and to help us move forward at such an exciting time for the LAA.”

Stephen joins the Association from a successful career in PR and marketing communications where he ran a leading agency working in sectors including aviation, the motor industry and tourism, both in the UK and in Asia. Stephen was also for 15 years ‘the voice of Formula One’ in the Far East, working as commentator with the Singapore-based Star Sports TV channel. He was also part of the team which created the Singapore Grand Prix, Formula One’s first-ever night race.

Stephen has been actively involved in the light aviation community for over a decade, including spells as Chairman of the Vintage Aircraft Club and Vice-Chairman of the General Aviation Awareness Council. He writes a regular column for Pilot magaqzine called Open Cockpit, where he comments knowledgeably on the issues affecting GA.

Stephen’s roots in flying go back to being a 14-year-old ‘hangar brat’ in the 1970s at the Middleton St George Aero Club, at what is now Durham Tees Valley Airport, but like many he then spent several decades away from flying before returning when commitments allowed. He owns and flies a Piper J-3 Cub, based at Bicester, and is co-owner and co-restorer of the ‘Biggles Biplane’ replica 1914 BE-2c observation biplane.

“I’m hugely honoured and excited to be offered this role,” says Stephen. “I hope my experience in communicating ideas and in running a company in fast-moving markets will add some new thoughts in the way that the LAA looks after its members’ needs and how we present ourselves to the wider community. Sport flying is one of the great, and too often unsung, leisure activities in the UK. To ensure we maintain our freedoms to do what we enjoy, we need a staunch advocate. I believe the LAA, as the UK’s premier body for such a wide range of sports flying activities, is precisely that organisation.

“I am very lucky in that, thanks to the efforts of Philip Hall, the Directors and the whole ‘Turweston Team’, the LAA is a strong, active and financially fit organisation. That doesn’t mean we don’t face challenges. For example, we will have to develop even stronger management systems to meet future changes in the CAA regulatory system. They will potentially give us greater freedom and some exciting opportunities, but equally greater responsibilities. What I am determined we won’t change though, is the high level of support and enthusiasm for ‘our kind of flying’ that is shared right across the LAA.”

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