Successful partnerships with UK government departments and national and European regulators are the fruits of several years’ investment in discussion and representation by Britain’s general aviation community, according to industry leaders. “There is an awful lot to be proud of,” said British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) chief executive Guy Lachlan, following the lobby group’s annual conference last month.
Aviation in the United Kingdom
While the general aviation industry has suffered recently, demand for GA products and services will continue to grow, paced by new business jets and light sport aircraft, the FAA told attendees at its annual aerospace forecast.
"Business aviation shows signs of rebounding," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "And weπre projecting growth in general aviation sectors, particularly in the jet and light sport aircraft sectors."
Here in the Dubai sunshine it is easy to forget the extent to which snow and ice can delay and disrupt aircraft operations, especially in the world of business aviation where schedules can be tight yet priority at snowbound airfields is low.
New European rules on flight crew licensing (FCL) could undermine business aircraft operators who depend on being able to use pilots trained in the U.S., according to the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA).
Cessna Citation 500, London, UK, March 8, 2008–A missing rivet head
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is conducting a Web-based survey on flight-time limitations, the data from which will be used to help develop a tailored business aviation regulation for EU pilots. Business aviation operations have been covered by the same regulation applied to the airlines, but in June 2012 a new aviation safety regulation will take effect in Europe, meaning input from the bizav community is essential.
A final report from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said a missing rivet head on a fuel shutoff valve that likely led to inadvertent engine shutdown was one of four “contributory factors” that resulted in the crash of a Cessna Citation 500 on March 8 some two miles northeast of London Biggin Hill Airport.
Over the 12 months since EBACE 2009 there has been a major improvement–you might almost say a revolution–in prospects for Russian business aviation. “Last year marked a turning point in the attitude of the Russian government and aviation authorities to our needs,” said Leonid Koshelev, chairman of the new Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA).
The British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) is looking for a new chief executive to replace Guy Lachlan, who will be leaving the organization to pursue an opportunity outside aviation. The recruitment process began last month and shortlisted candidates will be called for interview beginning late this month until a suitable applicant is found.
The political uncertainty surrounding the general elections being held today in Britain will undoubtedly have an effect on general aviation in the UK. Several key decisions in the aviation sector have been delayed until after the election. Whatever the outcome of the vote, these issues are unlikely to be resolved for several more weeks or months until a new government is fully operational.