Campaign Week 5: On-Track Aviation

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On-Track Aviation

On-Track Aviation moved to Wellsbourne Airfield in 2003 having been established by Alan Newton and Mark Young in 1997.

Unlike most other businesses on the airfield it is a commercial flying school, training future jet pilots, instructors and examiners.

Employing around 15 people, On Track trains 80-100 people each year and runs specialist seminars for flight instructors, which they are required to complete every three years.

The school attracts students from all over the UK, but also from abroad with trainee pilots flocking to Wellesbourne as they often don’t have the facilities in their own countries.

A number of the school’s instructors and examiners are from military backgrounds while others come from airlines such as British Airways and Flybe.

Stephanie Giles from On Track Aviation said: “For a small airfield in the UK, Wellesbourne is where a lot of pilots started their careers, it really is a fantastic seeding ground for the air industry in Britain.

“There is a lot of talk that the UK needs to expand its aviation capacity with things like extra runways at Heathrow, but places like Wellesbourne need to be the root of that expansion. I think people have been slow to make that connection, we are a breeding ground for the next generation of pilots. It’s places like Wellesbourne where all that starts. Somebody can go to their local airfield, try flying, maybe fall in love with it and have some lessons, and from there they can go on to become a commercial pilot.

“It was a shock to get the letters but not unexpected, we intend to fight this as much as we can.

“We (the businesses) are all really passionate about this we want to continue at Wellesbourne, everything works really well for all of us here at the moment. We have had a conversation about what would happen if we had to move out and relocate and we’ve not found the answer yet. It wouldn’t be easy to move elsewhere, it’s not like we just need an office, we need somewhere with all the facilities and somewhere that our staff can commute to.”