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11 OCTOBER 2021
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Plans by Sir Peter Rigby’s Regional & City Airports Group to close and industrialize Coventry Airport have been opposed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
This follows objection from local business flyers and government policy on General Aviation (see BTN 20 September).
Steve Ford, CEO of Sky Harbour UK Ltd, and a user of the airport said: “Speculative property development, often with no defined end user is not limited to Coventry Airport but is evident across the entire country. The Civil Aviation Authority objection sends a clear message across the country, of just how important the National Airport infrastructure is to future economic growth and job creation.”
In a formal objection lodged with local authorities in Coventry and Warwick, the CAA said shutting down the airport would stop it from potentially becoming a dedicated business airport for the Midlands.
It said the airport was already a "destination of choice for business aviation" and had space available for aircraft storage which could have financial benefits in the future.
Developing the airport "could represent an exciting opportunity for the local and regional economy," the statement continued, adding that the site was well placed to "lead the way in testing and development" for aviation developments including electrically powered flight and alternative power such as hydrogen.
"It could become one of the first GA aerodromes to benefit from new inward investment from tech firms and mail order giants that will inevitably seek to diversify and benefit from the opportunities that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will present," it added.
"The many based operators located at Coventry play a part in the local economy and provide employment.
"They require the airport to remain operational for the purposes of their business.
"If the airport were to be closed, not only would these based operators be forced to move elsewhere or close, but a vital link for the next generation of aviation professionals will be lost from the region too."
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