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Civil Aviation Authority: Reviews

Volume 684: debated on Thursday 20 July 2006

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport (Douglas Alexander) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today published the recommendations of its two reviews in the general aviation sector. Ministers are grateful to the CAA for taking the initiative to review general aviation and to the teams involved for their contribution to the process. We believe these are the first reviews of their kind in the EU and will improve understanding of the general aviation sector and its value to the UK economy. It is, however, only the beginning. It is now for Government, the CAA and general aviation to continue to work together and build upon the recommendations in these reports.

The reviews clearly demonstrate that general aviation is an important and integral part of the UK aviation sector and that it makes a not insignificant contribution to the UK economy, both in terms of direct economic value (approximately £1.4 billion per annum) and numbers employed (approximately 11,600). As a direct result of the reviews, the Department for Transport has made a commitment to participate in a new general aviation strategic forum with CAA and general aviation representatives, which will meet quarterly to discuss strategic issues facing the sector.

Additionally, the department has also established a focal point for general aviation matters with in its Aviation Airspace Division. We will consider the other recommendations in due course. Copies of the full reports are available on the CAA's website and have been placed in the Libraries of the House.