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Gatwick continues to show its support for local schools with new partnerships

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A new partnership between Gatwick Airport, the Gatwick Aviation Museum and the Royal Aeronautical Society aims to support local primary schools by hosting an exciting year-long series of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based events.

In the first of the year-long series of educational ‘Cool Aeronautics’ events, taking place at the Gatwick Aviation Museum, 71 lucky students from Southgate Primary School in Crawley were invited to attend a day of fascinating talks with pilots and Gatwick’s airfield operations staff, as well as receiving a tour of the museum and participating in a number of aircraft design challenges.

First launched in 2007, Cool Aeronautics is the Royal Aeronautical Society’s primary school outreach programme which aims to encourage STEM interest and introduce children to careers in aerospace engineering, space and the aviation industry.

The programme has continued to grow since it was first established, with more than 4,000 students participating in events in the past two years alone, across the UK and around the world.

The event partnership forms part of Gatwick Airport’s Community Engagement ‘Inform, Inspire, Invest’ education strategy, including  partnerships with other STEM initiatives, such as the Big Bang Fair and Learn Live broadcasts.

The airport is also supporting the Government’s national ‘Year of Engineering 2018’ campaign, and is celebrating engineering and helping to raise its status as an aspirational career path among young people, their parents and teachers.

Gatwick Airport’s Community Engagement Manager, Paula Aldridge, said:

“Cool Aeronautics is a fantastic event to inspire children living near the airport. Investing in these types of events allows us to nurture the next generation of young people who might consider careers at Gatwick, helping us to build a pipeline of talent for the future.”  

Royal Aeronautical Society’s Careers & Outreach Officer, Jonathan Axford, said:

“A love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths often begins at primary-school age but schools do not always have the resources to get their pupils excited about the possibilities of these subjects. 

“Through Cool Aeronautics and our close partnership with Gatwick Airport and the Gatwick Aviation Museum we aim to open up to children the wonderful world of STEM, as well as the incredible opportunities available in aviation and aerospace, in an interactive, entertaining and, most importantly, fun way.”

Gatwick Aviation Museum Manager, Ashley Colella, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Aeronautical Society and Gatwick Airport to help inspire the next generation of aviation professionals. The museum is a great place to showcase aviation history and we look forward to delivering this programme throughout the year.”

Southgate Primary School Teacher, Mrs Noble, said:

“Year 3 had the most fantastic day! We have learnt so much about the airport and the planes that use it. We will definitely be visiting again soon, thank you.”

For more information about how schools can register for a Cool Aeronautics event at Gatwick, please contact: community@gatwickairport.com.

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Gatwick

Henry Smith MP: Reforming Air Passenger Duty

In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about reforming air passenger duty to boost trade.

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One way for MPs to raise issues in Westminster is through All-Party Parliamentary Groups. These Groups typically contain members of the Commons and the Lords, and include parliamentarians from across the political spectrum.

I recently established and was elected to chair a new APPG on Air Passenger Duty Reform, which seeks to encourage the UK Government to cut the rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD).

While the Government confirmed at the October 2018 Budget that short-haul APD rates will not rise for the eighth year in a row, keeping costs down for 80 per cent of passengers, there remains more to be done.

With the Band B long-haul rate scheduled to rise by £16 on 1st April 2019, reforming APD will help the UK compete on a level playing field with our European counterparts, boosting tourism, trade, jobs and growth.

The UK APD rate is the highest tax of its kind in the world. It is twice as high as the next highest, Germany. On long-haul flights it currently adds £78 to an economy ticket.

As we leave the European Union and look to forge a new identity for ourselves in the world as a global nation, it is critical we have a tax system that reflects that ambition.

With Gatwick Airport in the Crawley boundary, a significant reduction in the UK’s APD rate would signal to the world that Britain is open for business.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

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