Inspiration for young aviators at YES conference

Yes conference

More than 60 delegates took part in the 11th Annual Youth Aviation Conference at Brooklands Museum on 15 March.

They heard inspirational speakers and the training schemes and activities aimed to encourage youngsters to take an interest in aviation, whether as a career or a hobby.

A major angle this year was the training opportunities now available for apprenticeships in the aviation and historic motor vehicle industries.

General Aviation Champion

General Aviation Champion Byron Davies

Michael Scott, left, with the govt’s General Aviation Champion, Byron Davies

The keynote speaker was Byron Davies, the newly-appointed ‘General Aviation Champion’ of the Department for Transport, who spoke of flying as an air cadet “in a freezing Shackleton over the Irish Sea”.

He went on to say that General Aviation (GA) contributes £3 Billion annually to the economy, employs around 40,000 workers and looks after some 100 licensed airfields, a large number under threat of closure.

Airspace, Taxation, and Planning are other issues he is addressing, and is liaising with York Aviation in undertaking a strategic review of the network of airfields, to support the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

He urged delegates to keep contacting their MPs, and to comment on the NPPF consultation, specifically Paragraph 105(f), and the Government’s General Aviation Strategy.  The government wants to make the UK “the best place in the world for GA”.

Build-a-Plane projects

YES Ellie Doak

Ellie Doak of the Air Scouts was one of the speakers at the 2018 YES conference.

A number of inspirational speakers followed, telling how they became involved in aviation, and of the challenges and rewards of working with school pupils on Build-a-Plane projects, which can develop the non-academic qualities in youngsters of all abilities.

Aviation Skills Partnership and Aviation Heritage UK described their training schemes, and P&A Wood apprentices explained how they learn their skills through carrying out restoration work on historic vehicles and aircraft engines.

Virtual Reality headsets to stimulate interest, and the large range of activities available through organisations such as Air Scouts, Aerobility, Feet of the Ground (Bodmin), Joystick Club (pedal planes and simulators), Shuttleworth Trust, Sci Hi Education, the Light Aircraft Association (LAA) and the Royal Institute of Navigation were also highlighted in this one-day conference, which then dispersed to enjoy the displays and activities at the newly-opened Aircraft Factory Hangar.

There is a similar event being organised by YES at the RAF Museum Cosford for 21 April. Register free on the Cosford Museum website to make sure of your place and be ready for further inspiration. – Dave Hall, Hon Sec, LAA Youth & Education Support 

YES Flyers


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