Press Release: New Transport Secretary needs to deliver a successful future for UK airports

Welcoming the new Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, to his new role, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, Darren Caplan said:

“On behalf of the Airport Operators Association, I wanted to congratulate Chris Grayling MP on his appointment as the new Secretary of State for Transport and welcome him to the role. We look forward to working with him to build a successful future for UK airports based on sustainable growth.

“There are a number of pressing issues awaiting the new Transport Secretary that need to be grasped decisively. First of all, we need to ensure that the new relationship with the EU allows the UK to continue to benefit from open access to important international markets by maintaining and enhancing those aspects of the Single European Market and ‘Open Skies’ policy which have been beneficial to our sector. This would allow the industry to grow, deliver cheaper air fares and open up new destinations at home and abroad.

“It is crucial that business as usual continues while we develop a new relationship with the EU. In particular, the new Transport Secretary needs to make a decision on airport expansion as soon as possible, demonstrating the world the UK is open for business. He will also need to ensure that his Department updates the 2013 Aviation Policy Framework, to ensure we make better use of existing airport capacity around the UK so that all airports that wish to grow can do so, for the benefit of UK, its economy and connectivity.

“The AOA would also like to thank outgoing Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP for engaging so constructively with the aviation sector. As one of the longest-serving Transport Secretaries in recent times, he helped re-shape aviation policy from one of “Better not Bigger” to the 2013 Aviation Policy Framework that actively promotes sustainable aviation growth and that we can build on today. We wish him well in his new role!”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Airport Operators Association (AOA) is the trade association that represents UK airports. Its mission is to see UK airports grow sustainably. It represents the views of UK airports to Government, Parliament and Regulators to secure policy outcomes that help deliver our mission. The AOA represents more than 50 UK airports in the UK. For more information, please visit