AOA response to the Government’s announcement on additional runway capacity

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) acknowledges the Government’s announcement setting out its full response to the Airports Commission Final Report. We will be giving a considered statement in due course.

Chief Executive of the AOA, Darren Caplan said:

“We have consistently said that the UK needs to compete in both established and emerging markets. This decision today is a first step 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 Brexit vote, 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. So we support all airports that wish to grow and believe in also making best use of existing capacity at all UK airports. The Government needs to refresh its Aviation Policy Framework as soon as possible to enable better surface access to airports, airspace modernisation, the lack of which is currently constraining our sector’s ability to grow, and a planning system with a presumption in favour of sustainable development.

“We also need to learn the lesson that big infrastructure projects, such as airport developments, need to be prioritised by the Government if we are to have the aviation network we need to deal with the substantially increased passenger numbers and freight volumes expected in the years ahead. The Department for Transport’s most optimistic passenger forecast scenarios from 2013 showed London and South East airports being full by 2030, and airports outside London and the South East filling up from 2040 – yet 2015’s actual passenger numbers were already almost 17 million higher than the 2013 forecast. This is an agenda which benefits not just airports around the country, but also UK plc, and its economy and connectivity more widely.”