UK airports’ trade body publishes aviation “manifesto” recommendations

With exactly a year to the day to go before the next general election – 7 May 2015 – the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade body for UK airports, has published its latest position paper on aviation policy. It makes six key policy recommendations it would like to see adopted by the Government and Opposition parties in their respective general election manifestos.

These are:

1.      Support sectoral growth: promote UK airports’ growth, through the Aviation Policy Framework and the Sir Howard Davies Airports Commission

2.      Review and cut further all levels of Air Passenger Duty

3.      Incentivise the take up of sustainable aviation fuels, to help enable ever more sustainable aviation

4.      Improve surface access – rail and road – to airports through a single national transport strategy

5.      Speed up planning by setting clear land-use policies in noise contours, curtailing the building of housing and other noise sensitive buildings around airports so that fewer people in future live in areas where there is aircraft noise

6.      Align UK security requirements with the nature of threats

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the AOA, said:

  • “Airports are part of a thriving UK success story, supporting a million jobs, contributing more than £50bn GDP to UK plc, generating over £8bn a year tax revenues to the Treasury, and supporting a whole range of economic and social activity. With passenger numbers heading in the right direction following the recent economic downturn, it’s extremely welcome that the Government has started to recognise the contribution our members can make to the recovery. From a positive Aviation Policy Framework (APF) to Sir Howard Davies calling for expansion in airport capacity, not to mention the recent cut in long-haul Air Passenger Duty (APD), it is clear that politicians and decision makers now realise the importance of a successful airports sector.
  • “We believe, however, that there is much more they can do realise the full potential of UK aviation. This includes acting to reduce all levels of APD and commissioning a study to consider the impact of the tax on the whole of the UK economy, as the Treasury has done recently with fuel duty; incentivising the take-up of sustainable aviation biofuels, to help aviation become ever more sustainable; and building on the positive language contained in the APF by promoting a planning regime which enables all UK airports to grow and by committing to act on the recommendations set out in the Airports Commission Final Report when it is published in the summer of 2015.
  • “We are just a year away until the next general election, and whichever party wins will have to grapple with these issues. We are hopeful that all politicians will take on-board these policy ‘asks’ as they put together their respective manifestos, so that together we can help aviation grow sustainably in future years.”

For further information please contact Tim Alderslade on 0207 799 3171 or


Notes to Editors:

1. The full policy document ‘What next for aviation policy’ – which is being sent to the major political parties – can be viewed on the AOA website, at This document updates ‘The AOA Review of the UK Government’s Aviation Policy Framework’, published in October 2013 (see

2. 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 some 50+ UK airports in the UK. For more information, please visit