The UK Government is launching a development fund for airfields to support the general aviation sector in the country.
The £2 million (US$2.6 million) Airfield Development Fund aims to help airfield owners, operators, local government and associated businesses “upskill, thrive and grow”. The fund aims to give airfield owners access to advisors on a range of legal and business-related topics to support their future development, such as advice on science and engineering training, developing electric aircraft and preserving heritage aircraft.
According to the UK Government, the value of the general aviation sector is worth around £3 billion (US$4 billion) to the UK economy.
The setup of the fund comes after a report by a group of politicians in the UK found that the general aviation market in the UK was at risk of failure.
Airfield owners can apply from the spring for advice by demonstrating how it will help protect or expand their business. Advice could include help on proposed developments, protecting airfields, or expanding training facilities and commercial opportunities.
Paul Maynard, the UK’s aviation minister said, “The UK government recognizes the enormous contribution smaller airfields make to the UK economy, and to the people they serve, where many aviation careers take first flight.
“We’re committed to protecting our airfields and easing the challenges that many businesses face. This support will help airfields prosper, creating and securing more jobs, while inspiring the next generation of aviation and engineering enthusiasts.
“Airfields eligible to apply for advice through the fund must be licensed (EASA, national regulations, GA national) or unlicensed and handling less than 200,000 terminal passengers per year.”