Strategic Aerodrome Network launched to protect airfields

A Strategic Aerodrome Network has been launched by the Airfield Operators Group and the UK VR Flight Guide. The Network was suggested by Lord Byron Davies in his 2018 report that accompanied a Green Paper, Aviation 2050: The Future of UK Aviation.

The purpose of the Network is to:

  • Draw more attention to the range of General Aviation (GA) airfields across the UK
  • Highlight their economic, transport, connectivity, recreational, training, community, environmental and emergency service value
  • Promote their importance now and for the future
  • Help protect and ensure they are able adapt and meet future aviation needs
  • Promote the sector to public bodies.

Although the timing of the announcement has come with the shock news that Popham Airfield is under threat, that’s a coincidence, said Ann Bartaby of the Airfield Operators Group.

“The UK VFR Flight Guide has been helping to protect airfields since it was first published, and will continue to do so at no cost to the airfield,” added Louise Southern, Editor of the Guide.

Survey of UK airfields

The first step is to gather information from UK airfields. In particular, it is looking to:

  • Prepare a list of those Aerodromes (where they permit) which consider themselves to be strategically important for aeronautical, community or other reasons.
  • Use generalised information, but not identifying airfields, to promote the breadth and depth of the GA sector to Government and Regulatory and Aviation bodies.
  • Make this generalised information available to individual airfields if and when they may be under some threat or wish to promote their site.

Aerodromes are being sent details of the survey in the next few days and will be invited to respond by 31 January 2024.


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