Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 62

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Dear AOA Member,

Yesterday the AOA joined ACI EUROPE and other industry associations across countries in Europe in a series of commitments from the airport industry to our passengers, communities and regulatory authorities, as well as issuing recommendations on future policy to regulators and decision-makers. The commitments come as most of Europe look to open their borders and lift travel restrictions, a situation which is unfortunately not mirrored in the UK. As such, today we continued to lobby Government on the damaging effects of the quarantine policy and the limits to an aviation restart imposed by continued FCO advice against non-essential travel.

Otherwise, the day was spent in meetings with CBI and DfT on a variety of issues, with a focus on regional connectivity and development in our work today. AOA attended a CBI webinar on unlocking regional growth where the huge economic disparities between UK regions were exposed. The importance of good air links were highlighted as a driver of economic growth, local jobs and as an incentive for further international investment. The place of connectivity within the wider discussion on future infrastructure and the predicted downturn in employment and productivity throughout 2020 was also highlighted.

AOA also met with officials from the Department for Transport to discuss Regional Air Connectivity and what policy levers the Government might be able to utilise to stimulate regional connectivity post-Flybe and post-COVID-19. Officials were clearly in listening mode and were keen to understand the value of domestic air connections between various regions of the UK. AOA highlighted that the benefits of air connectivity to a region are also derived from direct international links and not just domestic links to the economic core or other regions. AOA also wanted to make clear that policy action on regional connectivity should not wait for the end of the current crisis, but rather form an integral part of the restart and recovery efforts for the UK aviation industry. Officials were clear that the APD review is still being led by the Treasury, and AOA stressed that APD would be one of the main policy levers Government could use to effect real change in this area. AOA will be developing further proposals on regional connectivity in the coming weeks and will be seeking further member input in due course.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive