CAA objects to Coventry Airport gigafactory plan

The CAA has filed an official objection to the planning proposal to build a gigafactory on Coventry Airport.

The objection was lodged with Warwickshire District Council on Monday, 4 October just as the planning consultation period ended.

It’s the first public response from the CAA’s newly established Airfield Advisory Team to a planning proposal and has been welcomed by businesses on the airport fighting to keep it open.

The CAA’s objection, from the Airfield Advisory Team principal, James Head, says, “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 Airport does nothing to support the aims and objectives of the NPPF in recognising the importance of our GA network of airfields. It would undermine DFT objectives of promoting and boosting the viability of UK General aviation.

“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 CAA’s objection also notes 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. Such infrastructure includes Radar, instrument landing system (ILS), non-directional-beacon (NDB) and distance measuring equipment (DME). “

Coventry Airport planning proposal


  1. That’s great news and will be welcomed by the flying community. Now if the CAA could also object to Chiltern Park Aerodrome a local GA strip thats been in operation for 30 odd years from being forceably closed by Oxfordshire Council, that would make my day!

  2. The objections raised by the CAA could equally be applied to the many other airfield developments being sought after. It would be nice to think this will herald an end to the closure of airfields by developers, eager to make profits through the use of planning loopholes.

    1. Steve RA
      Great news for Coventry the airfield and the many businesses that are based there
      Use Gaydon, plenty of room there

  3. The CAA should object to ALL applications for planning permission for change of use from airport to residential, commercial or industrial.

    Airports are part of the infrastructure just as much as roads, railways and waterways and these would not be sold off and redeveloped.

    The owners of airports have purchased the airport for pennies on the pound because of their modest income and value.

    The only reason for this proposal is because proposed operator of the factory is offering hundreds of millions of pounds to the owner of the airport.

    There are hundreds of sites up and down the UK, such as disused industrial sites, where a new battery factory could be constructed.

    There probably are no sites at all in the UK where a new airport could be built because neighbours would complain about the noise.

  4. This is wonderful news for all the local aviation businesses and the Coventry area as a whole.

  5. yes but not enough charging points to get there :-Hate to say it batteries and silent creeping cars are the next bi problem creeping up and running people over .
    then they will be fitted with Noddy noise makers to over come the problem and we will be issued with horses there non wind producing types

    1. And Honiley is already partially occupied by a car manufacturer – now that would be joined up thinking.

  6. My son is an instructor at Coventry, he was at Wellsbourne, where next if Coventry closes. Most other local GA Airfields are in the ‘sticks’ like Enstone, Hinton, Turweston, and many have already closed in the area, so where are people / aspiring pilots going to learn to fly !! Plus, airfields and flying schools need to be close to centers of population, not miles away in the middle of nowhere with rubbishy infrastructure. Coventry is a perfect airfield for learning to fly, and it is a very good location. And, if the runway could be extended it would be in a great location for freight, as well as a passenger airport.

    1. Many years ago, Coventry WAS a freight and passenger airport!

      The last attempt, not so many years ago, to revive passenger activity (which (included the building of a terminal) led to vociferous complaints from locals, legal disputes involving the local councils, and the eventual departure of the company involved! And quite a few in the GA community were not comfortable with sharing local uncontrolled airspace with Boeing 737s!

      So, as for extending the runway……..

  7. No doubt, it took a lot of work to get to where we are today with a public statement of this magnitude from the CAA, supported in turn by the DfT to whom they are accountable.

    There is no ambiguity in the message and no ambiguity in the resolve from the industry. Enough is enough.

    1. “Supported, in turn, by the DfT……”?

      Unless I’m missing something, I’m not so sure about that, especially as the DfT (which has a wider remit than the CAA) is also tasked with promoting electric vehicles and the reduction of CO2 emissions!

      And as for past statements from Shapps &Co. about protecting and enhancing our aviation infrastructure, similar promises have been made before by politicians in respect of another airfield not far away!

  8. The objection was lodged with Warwickshire District Council on Monday, 4 October just as the planning consultation period ended.

    This does not mean that ‘objections’ can no longer be made. The Planning Rules require that there be a date after which a decision can be made or conversely before which an application cannot be determined.
    Any comments on an application made before a decision is made have to be taken into account.
    More objections reasoned on planning grounds can still be made.

    1. John is absolutely correct.
      There is a miss understanding generally that the public end date is a drop dead date for submissions. It isn’t.
      All it means is that from that date onwards a “Decision “ could be made by the planning committee. So, yes you can continue to comment right up until the decision date which on the WDC portal currently shows as having not been determined.

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