GAMTA executives plan a renewed commitment to fighting closures and restrictions at airfields across the UK after securing increased Government sympathy.

Civil servants present confirmed that a series of encouraging Government statements over recent months was explicitly intended to create a better regulatory environment for business aviation. Delegates heard that access to the major airports, notably London Heathrow, was likely to remain poor, but that there was greater optimism over other southeast airfields.

Work on the possible civil development of RAF Northolt continues, despite a grudging Ministry of Defence attitude. Hatfield, now closed for operations, is not yet a dead cause; and there is strong support from Government and industry for Farnborough to be preserved.

General Aviation Awareness Campaign chairman David Ogilvy, however, listed anti-GA actions by UK authorities, which have left 14 schools looking for new homes.

Both schools at Glasgow, have been given notice to quit, says Ogilvy - Southampton is restricting its three schools, to a collective total of 10,000 movements a year - Birmingham has been "offensive" towards GA and three airports have opposed planning applications for new airfields - in two cases some 20km (12 miles) away.

Source: Flight International