Mission Aviation Fellowship

General Aviation Infrastructure Network launched


A new national Community Interest Company (CIC), whose mission is to ensure the survival of a minimum viable strategic network of UK General Aviation airfields, has been set-up under the name of the General Aviation Infrastructure Network (GAIN).

GAIN also seeks to ensure that airfields identified as part of this network are guaranteed protection from development and change of use and also aims to help vulnerable UK General Aviation airfields under imminent threat of closure.

GAIN say that their objectives are:

  1. To establish a strategic network of UK GA airfields which is approved by Government and the UK GA industry;
  2. To secure guaranteed protection from change of use applications for airfields which constitute part of the strategic network of UK airfields, as defined above;
  3. To achieve recognition of GAIN as a special stakeholder and non-Governmental authority on planning and policy matters concerning all UK GA airfields;
  4. To work with the Government to effect changes to the National Planning Policy framework (England); National Planning Framework and Scottish Planning Policy (Scotland), Planning Policy Wales and Strategic Planning Policy for Northern Ireland to achieve the above;
  5. To continue to work with the All Party Parliamentary Group for GA and other stakeholders to achieve the above.

GAIN are seeking donations to support their work, they say that money received will be used in two ways:

  1. To help to save airfields under threat. GAIN’s first priority is supporting FlyPlymouth in their bid to save Plymouth City Airport;
  2. To fund the national lobbying campaign designed to protect airfields from development by law and to identify each member of the strategic network as an Enterprise Zone – helping them achieve their economic potential and contribution to the local community.

Chairman of GAIN is Pauline Vahey, a former Chairman of the British Women’s Pilots’ Association and a Director of AOPA for eight years. AOPA is listed as a key partner in GAIN.

GAIN say that they identified six UK airfields which they believe are under greatest threat should their respective Councils decide to designate the airfields in their area for non-aviation use (eg housing).

GAIN have additional identified further airfields under imminent threat:

Fairoaks, Surrey

Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire

Old Sarum, Wiltshire

Redhill, Surrey

RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire

Dunsfold, Surrey

More details about GAIN can be found at www.gainetwork.org.uk .

Author: Adrian Mahovics

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