Aviation to be a key priority for UK government in run up to Brexit
Ministers consider aviation as a “top priority” in Brexit negotiations, and the UK government hopes to get new flight rights with 44 countries to replace the EU framework governing where airlines can fly. There will be a new UK aviation strategy (there is currently no proper UK aviation policy, with the government hoping to get a 3rd Heathrow runway first, before working on policy for all UK airports). Access to the aviation markets of the EU countries, the US and Canada, where market access is via EU-negotiated agreements. The aviation industry is very concerned about what agreements on aviation will be made, post-Brexit, on where airlines can fly etc. They face huge risks to their businesses and profits. It has also emerged that UK aviation safety is controlled by EASA, a European body under the jurisdiction of the European Court. The government said its aviation strategy will consider the [alleged] need for further growth beyond expansion at Heathrow, and noted that “a number of airports have plans to invest further” to cater for air passenger growth. The DfT wants more intensive use of existing capacity at all UK airports, and says airports with planning restrictions hoping to take forward plans to develop beyond those restrictions will need to submit a planning application, with environmental issues such as noise and air quality taken into account.
Aviation given priority boarding by government in run up to Brexit
By Rebecca Smith (City AM)
Ministers have identified aviation as a “top priority” in Brexit negotiations, saying today that the government was seeking new flight rights with 44 countries to replace the EU framework governing where airlines can fly.
It comes as the Department for Transport (DfT) seeks input on how to fast track improvements to UK airports in a bid to safeguard the air transport and aerospace industries that add £22bn to the UK economy each year.
Plans revealed for the new aviation strategy which were tapped into in today’s discussion paper, say the government is focused on the 44 countries including EU member states, the US and Canada, where market access is via EU-negotiated agreements.
The aviation industry has been vocal in its concerns over Brexit and the uncertainty faced over where airlines will be able to fly without the current arrangements in place.
“A clear priority for me is to achieve the best possible deal for our access to European markets,” said transport secretary Chris Grayling. “This is a key part of the government’s Brexit negotiations and will be separate from the aviation strategy.”
“In the short term, post-referendum, the government is focused on the 44 countries including EU member states, the US and Canada, where our market access is via EU-negotiated agreements,” the DfT said.
Alternative arrangements will be required for air services to or from these countries when the UK leaves the EU. New arrangements are a top priority for the government.
The government said its aviation strategy will consider the need for further growth beyond expansion at Heathrow, and noted that “a number of airports have plans to invest further” to cater for passenger growth.
“We are aware that a number of airports have plans to invest further, allowing them to accommodate passenger growth over the next decade using their existing runways, which may need to be accompanied by applications to increase existing caps,” it said.
“The government agrees with the Airports Commission’s recommendation that there is a requirement for more intensive use of existing airport capacity and is minded to be supportive of all airports who wish to make best use of their existing runways including those in the South East,” the DfT added.
Read more: Heathrow has broken another record despite battling capacity constraints
Airports with planning restrictions hoping to take forward plans to develop beyond those restrictions will need to submit a planning application, with environmental issues such as noise and air quality taken into account.
“Due to the recent rise in growth, the government believes that this issue cannot wait until the publication of a new aviation strategy,” the DfT said. “Therefore, as part of the call for evidence, it would welcome views with regards to this proposed policy.”
The government also wants feedback on initiatives to make the airport process speedier for passengers, including airport bag check-ins in town centres, and a “luggage portering” service where bags are collected from passengers before they reach the airport.
The final aviation strategy will be published by the end of 2018 after themed consultations on topics flagged in its discussion paper.
The DfT press release:
Government sets out vision for future of UK aviation
Launch of plans to develop a new UK Aviation Strategy to help shape the future of the aviation industry to 2050 and beyond.
Shaping aviation to help boost economic growth, connectivity and skills will be at the centre of a new strategy to prepare the industry for the next 3 decades and beyond, the government announced today (21 July 2017).
The public are being asked to have their say on how this vital sector should respond to a range of technological, security, environmental and customer service challenges.
It also looks at how the government can support future growth in an industry which directly supports 240,000 jobs and contributes at least £22 billion to the UK economy each year.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling will today launch a public discussion to help shape and promote the future of the aviation industry both up to 2050 and beyond.
Airport bag check-ins in town centres and a ‘luggage portering’ service are among a series of innovative ideas the public is being asked for views on.
Other issues include possible new forms of compensation for noise or designing targets for noise reduction.
The government is also keen for views on how it should support and regulate emerging technologies around personal travel.
The document also discusses how we can make best use of existing capacity at all airports around the country.
The Secretary of State announced the strategy at the launch of a £1 billion programme to double the size of Manchester Airport’s Terminal 2.
The project will create 1,500 jobs, allow for more international destinations, and grow passenger numbers from 27 million to 45 million a year.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
Aviation is central to our future prosperity as we leave the European Union. As a global, trading nation we want to build on the great industry we have today and create opportunities for people up and down the country
Our new aviation strategy will look beyond the new runway at Heathrow and sets out a comprehensive long-term plan for UK aviation. It will support jobs and economic growth across the whole of the UK.
Our vision puts the passenger at the heart of what we do, but also recognises the need to address the impacts of aviation on communities and the environment.
Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive of Manchester Airports Group, said:
Today, work will begin at Manchester Airport on a £1 billion investment programme that will provide passengers and airlines with world-class airport facilities, and deliver a major boost to the UK’s growth prospects and international competitiveness.
We welcome the Secretary of State’s recognition of the important role that airports across the UK will play in driving economic growth, and commitment to looking at how airports like Manchester and London Stansted can make best use of their existing capacity.
The government is today setting out 6 important themes that it will consult on over the coming months:
1) Customer service. Which will look at:
how to ensure the industry is accessible for all and caters for an ageing population and passengers with restricted mobility
the consumer protection arrangements that should be in place when things go wrong
how to deal with disruptive passengers
It also highlights new ways of working in other countries such as check-in facilities in town centres or luggage portering services, where bags are picked up from passengers before they reach the airport.
2) Safety and security. Which will look at the technology that could be introduced at UK airports to counter the threat from terrorism; what more could be done to raise security standards; and whether current safety standards are acceptable.
3) Global connectivity. Which will look at how the UK can improve our global connectivity for passengers and freight as we leave the EU; and how we can remove barriers to trade.
4) Competitive markets. Which will look at whether existing regulation produces the best outcome for consumers; how to encourage connectivity across UK nations and regions and how to stimulate competition to ensure the consumers have a wide choice of airports, airlines and destinations.
5) Supporting growth while tackling environmental impacts. Which will look at how to achieve the right balance between more flights and ensuring action is taken to tackle carbon emissions, noise and air quality.
6) Innovation, technology and skills. Which will look at which emerging technologies could significantly change the aviation market or bring benefits to passengers; and how the industry should address skills shortages and improve its diversity.
Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
It is crucial that the government’s future aviation strategy supports the continued growth and development of our airports, and frees them to make the best use of their capacity to link British businesses to markets all across the world.
Stronger airports help our cities and counties attract more investment and visitors, and connect our firms to trading opportunities overseas – so we must enable them to grow and change to meet the demands of the future.
Consultations on each of these areas will run throughout 2017 and 2018 and will be followed by the publication of the final aviation strategy by the end of 2018.
This is the rather bland statement by the DfT about it:
Beyond the horizon: the future of aviation in the UK
A call for evidence on a new aviation strategy
The aviation industry contributes billions to our economy, supports thousands of jobs, strengthens the union and develops skills. The Department for Transport is looking at how the government, working with our partners across the sector, can help airports and the industry to grow in a way that:
- is sustainable
- increases competition
- offers consumers greater choice and a quality experience
We are seeking views from across industry, business, consumers, environmental groups and anyone with an interest in aviation.
This call for evidence begins the consultation process. We have set out our overall aims and approach, but we want to be steered and guided by you. This is your opportunity to shape the future of aviation.
The call for evidence period will be followed by a series of consultations that will run throughout 2017 and 2018, culminating in the launch of the aviation strategy at the end of 2018.
Our 6 objectives for a new aviation strategy
Aviation matters – it drives economic growth across the whole United Kingdom, connects us with the world, removes barriers to trade and supports jobs and skills. We have an aviation history to be proud of and we’re building on a track record of success.
But we also recognise the challenges that our aviation sector faces in maintaining this leading position. So the time is now right to develop a new aviation strategy that will set out the long-term vision for aviation taking us to 2050 and beyond.
These are our 6 objectives for a new aviation strategy.
Help the aviation industry work for its customers
Enhancing the consumer experience through improved accessibility, better information and support when things go wrong.
Ensure a safe and secure way to travel
Championing the UK’s aviation security and safety record and ensuring our approaches remain cutting edge and responsive to new challenges.
Build a global and connected Britain
The importance of aviation to building a global Britain that is outward looking, with a strong economy that benefits the whole of the UK.
Encourage competitive markets
Examining the sector to see whether market failures exist and how government can encourage more competition.
Support growth while tackling environmental impacts
Building capacity and promoting regional growth and connectivity whilst balancing this with the need to tackle environmental impacts. [No details given…]
Develop innovation, technology and skills
How we can make best use of new technology and build on the aviation sector’s track record of success in encouraging innovation.