Aviation Strategy must give industry tools to meet growing demand for connectivity

At its Annual Conference, the Airport Operators Association (AOA) is today [Monday 30 October 2017] launching its vision for the Government’s new Aviation Strategy.

With record passenger growth in recent years that is expected to continue at pace in the coming years, UK aviation is preparing for the future. Airports stand ready to meet the growing demand from consumers and business alike for aviation connectivity with plans for more than £8bn of investment in their facilities over the next five years.

Today’s publication from AOA calls on Government to deliver an Aviation Strategy which goes beyond a “statement of intent” and which gives industry the tools necessary to prepare and build for the future. Such a strategy will give airports the certainty to make the next set of long-term investment decisions and enable them to work with partners, such as local authorities and communities, to develop plans that will boost to local economies.

The Aviation Strategy must:

  • Set out a road-map to creating better, sustainable surface transport to airports, including how Government expects organisations like Network Rail, Highways England and devolved bodies to deliver on that road-map
  • Go beyond a statement of intent and give industry the necessary tools to deliver sustainable growth to meet increasing demand for air travel, including lifting planning caps on air transport movement and supporting additional terminal and runway capacity as and when necessary
  • Work cross-Government to put the passenger first: reducing UK Air Passenger Duty, Europe’s highest such tax, and supporting Border Force to provide not only a secure UK border but also excellent customer services to travellers.

 Chief Executive of the AOA, Karen Dee said:

“Aviation is a UK success story: record growth has seen aviation contribute more than a billion a week in GDP to the UK economy and supported the jobs of more than a million people.

“As more passengers want to travel abroad and more visitors want to come to the UK, we need to be ready to meet demand in a sustainable way that fulfils consumers’ and businesses’ high expectations.

“The Aviation Strategy is a prime opportunity for Government to provide aviation with a licence to grow, sustainably, to meet consumer demand and support local and regional economies. Our publication today sets out our vision for the Aviation Strategy and we look forward to working with Government to turn this into reality, creating jobs and boosting economic growth across the UK.”