Sustainable Aviation


The AOA plays a key role in Sustainable Aviation (SA), the UK coalition of  airports, airlines, aerospace manufacturers, and air traffic management providers, demonstrating our commitment to ‘cleaner, quieter, smarter’ aviation. Founded in 2005, the purpose of SA is to allow the aviation industry to come together to tackle the challenges of delivering a sustainable future for aviation. It also provides support and research to member organisations in their public engagement to demonstrate the sustainability of aviation. It aims to both demonstrate to policymakers that aviation, working collaboratively, has a future strategy to decarbonise and reduce noise and local air quality impacts and demonstrate to the public that there are two sides to the aviation environmental debate.

The AOA played a major role in launching SA’s updated Carbon Road-Map in December 2016, which showed how UK aviation can accommodate growth to 2050 without a substantial increase in absolute CO2 emissions whilst also supporting the reduction of net CO2 emissions to 50% of 2005 levels through internationally agreed carbon trading. Other important recent reports by SA include a report on UK Aviation and Air Quality, published in autumn 2016.

For more information visit

A Fair Tax on Flying

The AOA is part of the industry alliance ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’, which campaigns to raise support to a reduction in UK Air Passenger Duty (APD), which is currently among the highest in the world and more than double our nearest competitors. That is why the British Chamber of Commerce called it a ‘tax on global traders’. Just six other EU countries levy a similar tax, all at substantially lower rates:

  • UK short-haul APD (£13) is 43% higher than the next highest tax (Greece – £9). Band A is more than double the rate in Germany (£5.70) and more than triple the French rate (£4.20).
  • UK long-haul APD for (£75) is more than double the level of the next highest tax for long-haul journeys, which is levied by Germany (£32). It is more than five times the rate levied by France (£14.50).

This poses a problem for UK airports, as airlines have a choice where they put new routes or expand existing ones. UK airports compete to attract airlines against airports in neighbouring countries with no or much lower taxes, harming the UK’s competitiveness. This helps to explain why the UK has less connectivity to China, Brazil and South Korea than Germany or France have.

As the UK leaves the EU, it will need a competitive aviation sector to ensure that British business can take advantage of the opportunities Brexit brings, both in existing and emerging markets. That is why ‘A Fair Tax on Flying’ is campaigning to cut APD by 50% to bring us into line with our nearest competitors.

For more information visit

The Sky’s the Limit

The AOA is part of the industry alliance ‘The Sky’s the Limit’, working together with Airlines UK, BAR-UK, IATA and NATS to raise the profile of airspace modernisation. Designed over 50 years ago, for an industry vastly different in scale to the one we have today, it was never envisaged that our airspace would eventually handle more than two million aircraft and carry 268 million passengers, as it did in 2016.

Air traffic is set to continue to grow, reaching 3.1 million aircraft movements and 350 million passengers by 2030. Our airspace simply won’t manage that demand without significant change today. That means moving from traditional ground-based beacons to modern satellite navigation, the capability for which already exists on many modern aircraft.

Airspace change is complex and doesn’t happen quickly, it takes years and we are already behind schedule. It is critical that the industry and Government now work together to deliver modernisation. That is why ‘The Sky’s the Limit’ is calling on the Government to prioritise its work on airspace and noise, and support industry initiatives to modernise our airspace

For more information visit