UK aviation needs a complete policy to fully deliver benefits to the UK economy

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) today welcomed the publication of the Government’s First Draft Sustainable Framework for UK Aviation, and whilst we agree that the Government needs to get it right on the issue of hub capacity, we are concerned about the delay to Call for Evidence on hub capacity.

Airports around the country will digest and respond to this First Draft Framework as soon as possible. The AOA has previously set out six tests by which the Framework should be judged, and we will use these to evaluate the First Draft. These tests are:

1.      Does the Framework recognise the importance of aviation to the UK economy as a sector and its role in connecting the UK to established and emerging markets?

2.       Is it positive about the aviation sector, encouraging sustainable growth right across the country, in all areas of the UK?

3.       Does it promote a positive planning regime which recognises the importance of airports as strategic infrastructure, both nationally and regionally?

4.       Does it seek to reduce the regulatory burden faced by the airport and aviation sector?

5.       Does it promote a global cap and trade scheme for carbon, following aviation’s inclusion in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme?

6.       Does it avoid a one-size fits all approach to noise around airports, and instead set out a range of options to enable airports and local communities to consider an approach which works best for them?

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association said:

“We welcome the publication of the First Draft of the Sustainable Framework for UK Aviation, and look forward to all airports being allowed to grow sustainably, within a decent planning and regulatory framework, whilst delivering on cleaner, quieter, smarter aviation, to ensure the UK economy has the connectivity in needs in order to emerge from recession.

Whilst we agree that the Government must get it right on hub, we are concerned that a delay pushes the time for decision further away. The UK economy needs a thriving airports sector with vibrant point-to-point airports and sufficient world class hub capacity.

The Government must set a clear timetable and deadline to make decisions on this as soon as possible. The more we delay the more jobs, businesses and routes the UK loses to competitors.”


Notes to editors:

Darren Caplan is available for interview or further comment.

For more information, please contact Luke Law on or call 07827 931 480

About the Airport Operators Association

Who we are: 
The Airport Operators Association (AOA) is the trade association that represents UK airports.

What we do:
Our mission is to see UK airports grow sustainably. We represent the views of UK airports to Government, Parliament and Regulators to secure policy outcomes that help deliver our mission.

Who we represent:
The AOA represents 72 UK airports and general aviation airfields in the UK. For more, see