Mark Reckless MP has raised concerns about the impact on local businesses in the South East as a result of the proposed Olympics airspace security measures which are currently set to run from 13 July 2012 to 12 September 2012.
Flight training schools and small airfields such as Rochester Airport and Medway Microlights have complained that the current security proposals could lead to them being forced to close down for two of the busiest and most lucrative flying months of the year.
In a written question to the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark asked:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will consider the merits of relaxing airspace restrictions for the London 2012 Olympics to take account of the requirements of private air fields, flight schools, leisure flight operators and other businesses which are within the exclusion zone.”
Theresa Villers has now responded:
“The aim of the planned temporary airspace restrictions is to enable aviation activities within the restricted zone to continue as far as possible, consistent with delivering our security objectives. The Government, along with the Civil Aviation Authority and NATS, are keen to work with those in the aviation community affected by the restrictions to ensure that the planned measures and their potential impacts are fully understood.
We will consider whether certain adaptations to the planned restrictions might be feasible and consistent with the overarching security considerations, before finalising the measures later this year.”
Mark Reckless has welcomed the Minister’s response:
“I’m delighted that Theresa Villiers has responded positively to my question and is willing to meet with myself, Rochester Airport and Mewday Microlights to try and resolve the situation as I know this is a big issue for many aviation related businesses around London and the South East.