CAA opposes Coventry closure

Coventry Airport aerial view

With its long runway Coventry is one of the jewels in UK general aviation - Credit: Steve Clark

The CAA’s recently established Airfield Advisory Team (AAT) has filed an official objection to the planning proposal to build a gigafactory on Coventry Airport.

The AAT, which was instigated by Secretary of State for Transport (and active GA pilot) Grant Shapps, lodged the objection with Warwickshire District Council on Monday, 4 October, as the planning consultation period ended.

The legal challenge was the first public response by the AAT to a planning proposal, and it has been warmly welcomed by businesses based at the airport, all of which are striving to ensure the site remains as an active airfield. 

The CAA’s objection, which was lodged by the Airfield Advisory Team principal, James Head, said: “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. Airports like Coventry play a key role in providing access to the aviation industry for the next generation who are considering a career either in aviation or other STEM related professions. Closing Coventry would undermine the Department for Transport objectives of promoting and boosting the viability of UK General aviation.”  

In closing remarks Mr Head added that “we, the Airfield Advisory Team, object to the proposed scheme and hope to see aviation-centric plans at the heart of a new, stable future for Coventry Airport and its based operators”. The objection also noted that “it is a condition of the current lease that certain legacy infrastructure is maintained in an operational condition, even though the equipment is no longer utilised.”