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BBGA's compliance suggestions meet government resistance
BBGA wrote to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel on 4 June with suggestions about business aviation's ability to implement distancing and other safety measures. The association did not receive the response it hoped for.
Marc Bailey is not giving up the fight.

British Business and General Aviation (BBGA) is unhappy with the response of the UK government to its Alternate Means of Compliance (AMC), which has been designed to help the sector successfully work within 14-day quarantine restrictions imposed by the UK Home Office.

The association's solution was endorsed by collaborators MedAire and International SOS, and was touted as a test model for airlines. The scheme states that business aviation can ‘far more easily’ adopt the UK government's two metre social distancing requirements, and its beta test model can be carried through on board executive aircraft. BBGA advised its suitability and provided detail on how it would facilitate a Public Health England-approved testing regime for crew and passengers, before embarkation and on arrival.

A letter detailing all this work was sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel on 4 June. “We wrote with some confidence, following what we believed to have been good progress in moving our proposals forward to a trial, especially as much more affordable, on site rapid testing machines are now becoming available,” states Marc Bailey, BBGA CEO.

“Business aviation is carrying 130 passengers a day into a network of UK airfields,” Marc Bailey stated in the letter. “Our sector passengers are coming here for business reasons. They are existing or potential investors that will bolster our GDP and help prevent job losses. They will not come to Britain for their business if they automatically have to go into a two-week quarantine on arrival.”

The response was disappointing, and for Bailey it was “once again, a systematic neglect to listen to the private sector when it offers innovative solutions during the national crisis that will help save lives, retain jobs and benefit the economy. The Government's failure to engage with our progressive plan takes us to a dangerous cliff edge, especially with MPs still arguing about the need to see the next review at the end of June.

He has pledged to vehemently challenge the response.

Meanwhile, secretary of state for transport Grant Shapps has recently outlined plans for ‘air bridges’ for travellers arriving from certain nations that have been categorised as lower risk. This news has provided some optimism in aviation, as CEO of London Southend airport Glyn Jones highlights: “We welcome the news that the UK Government appears to be moving towards taking the rational decision to put down the sledgehammer of quarantine measures, which was hitting UK tourism and aviation industries hard.

“Moving to air corridors is the right decision, and one that should have been taken from the start. We are pleased that UK Government is seeing sense and listening to the hundreds of thousands of people that would have been affected by the unworkable 14-day quarantine policy.”

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