News

Airport Operators Association Annual Conference concludes in London

The UK aviation sector is in a better position than it was three years ago, when the Government came into power. Despite the challenges ahead, senior aviation players are more optimistic about the future, following the Government’s Aviation Policy Framework published in March, and the setting up and progression of the Airports Commission. This was the overwhelming verdict of speakers and delegates who attended the Airport Operators Association (AOA) Annual Conference, which concluded today, in London.

Delegates at the conference heard from a range of speakers over the course of the two-day conference, including Sir Howard Davies, Chair of the independent Airports Commission; Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair; Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of International Airlines Group; Robert Goodwill MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State with responsibility for Aviation; Gordon Marsden MP, Shadow Minister for Aviation; and a range of other airport, airline and aviation partners. Excerpts from Day 2 of the conference included:

  • Willie Walsh saying “Aviation policy is better today than it was three years ago”.
  •  Sir Howard Davies reiterating his view that further airport capacity in the UK is required, and that surface access to airports is “not good enough”, adding that there is a need for better public transport access to UK airports.
  • Michael O’Leary again stating his view that several major airports in the UK require additional runways and that the UK is being “left behind” when compared to international rivals in Europe. He commented that Ryanair would be looking to “soften the one-bag rule”, whereby airlines only allow passengers to carry one bag on-board an aircraft – of particular benefit to many UK airports.

The following link from AOA Partners, ITN Productions, contains some footage from the conference –http://www.transportnews.itn.co.uk/Aviation/All.

The AOA also conducted its Annual Awards ceremony last night, during which Edinburgh Airport won the award for Best Airport over 6 million passengers, and Leeds Bradford International Airport won Best Airport under 6 million passengers. AOA Corporate, Silver and Associate member awards are listed below:

Best Exhibition Stand – Vanderlande Industries

Best Environmental Initiative – RPS Group

Best General Aviation Airport – Gloucestershire Airport

Best Small Business – Eagle Airfield

Best Innovator – Smiths Detection

Best Manufacturer – Thales

Best Consultancy – Atkins

Best Service Partner – Siemens

Best Business Partner – Wilson James

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the AOA, said: “The UK aviation sector is in a better position than it was three years ago, when the Government came into power. Despite the challenges ahead, senior aviation players are more optimistic about the future, following the Government’s Aviation Policy Framework published in March, and the setting up and progression of the Airports Commission.

“This conference has seen a fantastic two days of debate around aviation issues in the UK, and there is a real sense of optimism amongst the sector. We thank our great line-up of speakers and we congratulate the award winners on their well-deserved success. We now look forward to trying to emulate all this at next year’s Conference!”

For further information about the Conference or the Awards ceremony, please contact Tim Alderslade on 020 7799 3171 or [email protected].