Airports NPS and airspace modernisation consultations first steps towards a new Aviation Strategy

Responding to the publication of the draft Airports National Policy Statement and the consultation on proposals to modernise the UK’s airspace, Chairman of the AOA Ed Anderson said:

“The AOA have consistently said that the UK needs to compete in both established and emerging markets. This decision last October to approve a third runway at Heathrow Airport and today’s draft National Policy Statement are first steps in the process towards ensuring the UK has the additional capacity it needs to help the country deliver, sustainably, the connectivity it requires in the future. At this time of increased uncertainty following the EU referendum, we need to maintain momentum, remove uncertainty and ensure the UK gets the additional capacity it so vitally needs as soon as possible to demonstrate the UK is open for business and confident about its future.

“The AOA is also clear that the UK requires excellent aviation connectivity right across the country, both vibrant point-to-point airports and world-class hub capacity. That is why we welcome the Transport Secretary’s intention to set out in an Aviation Strategy how the UK can maximise the positive role the aviation sector plays in developing global trade links. To be a success, this Aviation Strategy needs to support all airports that wish to grow and also make better use of existing capacity. This should include better surface access to airports and a planning system with a presumption in favour of sustainable development.

“Another vital part of the Government’s intention to support the aviation sector is the modernisation of the UK’s airspace. Airspace modernisation will benefit the economy, through faster journeys and dramatically reducing the risk of future delays as a result of increased capacity in the sky, and reduce aviation’s impact on the environment and local communities. The lack of a clear framework for airspace change has constrained the sector’s ability to deliver on this so far. Today’s consultation on airspace is much needed and a welcome step forward. Airspace modernisation will benefit the whole country and it is vital the Government moves ahead at pace on this, separate from the process around designating a National Policy Statement for additional airport capacity in the South East.”