Government policy document “Flightpath to the Future” – hand in glove with aviation industry, for more growth 

The UK government has published a new statement on aviation, called  “Flightpath to the future: a strategic framework for the aviation sector”  –  medium-term strategic framework for the UK aviation sector.  It is a 10-point plan that “supports the Department for Transport’s vision for a modern, innovative and efficient sector over the next 10 years.” The DfT wants the sector to be “successful.”  The plan is focused on growing a “sustainable” sector; it wants airport growth “within our strict environmental criteria.” (sic).  It wants to help the consumer by cutting ticket prices. Nowhere is there any substantive ambition to reduce carbon emissions, other than aspirations to deliver “on our aspiration for zero emission flights across the UK this decade. We will also seek to deliver our ambition for 10% SAF to be blended into the UK fuel mix by 2030”.  It demonstrates how closely the DfT and the aviation industry are aligned. There is nothing concrete on noise.  It is far more interested in the convenience of air passengers, the financial success of the sector, and numbers of jobs, than environmental impacts. 

“This 10-point plan focuses on how government and industry can work together to deliver a successful aviation sector of the future.”

Written statement to Parliament: A strategic framework for aviation

Flightpath to the Future – strategy document.

The 10 point plan

Ten point plan for the future of UK aviation

Enhancing global impact for a sustainable recovery

1. Recover, learn lessons from the pandemic and sustainably grow the sector – commit
to growth and work together with industry and the CAA towards a future where the sector can
recover, grow and thrive in a way that is sustainable, resilient and connected. We will work with international partners and the COVID-19 Public Inquiry to learn lessons from the pandemic and build the resilience of the sector, as well as informing broader future pandemic preparedness.
We will also enhance global connectivity and trade through the prioritisation of our work on
Air Services Agreements, and ensuring new FTAs include liberal provisions for the trade in
auxiliary air transport services and for investment in aviation businesses. We will retain our
position as one of the strongest aviation and aerospace sectors in the world, whilst also
delivering a greener and cleaner sector. We will also establish a new Aviation Council
to work with the sector and across Government to discuss and deliver these
ten priorities.

2. Enhance the UK’s global aviation impact and leadership – allowing the UK to set the
agenda on key international aviation issues for the future, including the global reopening of international travel, decarbonisation, safety and security. This will be delivered by widening our existing relationships and influence, through multilateral organisations, such as ICAO, the
European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) and EUROCONTROL. Bilateral relationships with our key partners, and building on the globally leading role and reputation of our key aviation agencies, will also be key. We will use our influence and reputation to push for greater environmental ambition by ICAO through the agreement of a long-term emissions
reduction goal for international aviation in 2022.

3. Support growth in airport capacity where it is justified, ensuring that capacity is used in a way that delivers for the UK – airport expansion has a key role to play in enhancing the UK’s global connectivity and we remain supportive of sustainable airport growth. We will also support the sector to drive forward continued quality improvements, so slot capacity is used effectively and delivers the best possible results for the UK. An important aspect of this will be carrying out a detailed review of the airport slot allocation system to look at how we can improve it. This will ensure that the system meets the needs of the UK now that we have left the European Union, and we will consult on this shortly.

Embracing innovation for a sustainable future

4. Put the sector on course to achieve Jet Zero by 2050 – as set out in the Jet Zero
Consultation, this will include delivering on our aspiration for zero emission flights across the UK this decade. We will also seek to deliver our ambition for 10% SAF to be blended into the UK fuel mix by 2030, supported by £180 million of new funding in 2022-2025 and a SAF
mandate under development. This will require extensive collaboration between Government
and industry, including through the Jet Zero Council. We will also continue to work with the sector to reduce the localised impacts of aviation from noise and air pollution.

5. Capture the potential of new technology and its uses – benefitting from new regulatory
freedoms outside the EU, we will be one of the first countries in the world to routinely use new aircraft to provide new and improved low carbon services, and local and regional air mobility for goods and people. This will include aircraft such as drones and electrical vertical take-off and landing aircraft. This will be achieved through providing additional funding to CAA to scale up support to innovators and setting up a Future of Flight Industry Group to work with industry and the CAA to develop, publish and implement a plan for Future of Flight. The plan will include delivery of the necessary regulatory framework for aviation innovation to thrive.
We will also support the sector in delivering the Airspace Modernisation Strategy to
achieve quicker, quieter, and cleaner flights. The strategy will also ensure that all new
and current airspace users can operate and coexist safely in UK airspace.

Realising benefits for the UK 

6. Unlock local benefits and level up – recognise how our extensive airport, airfield and aviation infrastructure network acts as a catalyst for national and local benefits. This includes through trade, air freight, aerospace, investment and tourism, as well as allowing people to benefit from improved connections across the union and regions. We are bolstering air connectivity within the union through a 50% cut in domestic Air Passenger Duty (APD), while further aligning APD with UK environmental objectives by adding a new ultra-long-haul distance band. We will also support routes that are in danger of being lost, through our Public Service Obligation policy for domestic aviation. Where journeys are too long to be reasonably taken by road or rail, our PSO policy can provide support. As part of the independent Union Connectivity Review there were recommendations on PSO policy which will be carefully considered as part of the Government’s response. Airport expansion also has a key role to play in unlocking benefits to the UK and levelling up. Our existing policy frameworks on airport planning provide a robust and balanced framework for sustainable growth, and continue to have full effect.

7. Unleash the potential of the next generation of aviation professionals – enhance skills and diversity across the entirety of the sector. This includes maximising the impact of the Aviation Skills Retention Platform and Talentview Aviation to support the sector’s skills
and workers as it recovers. The Government will also support the development of STEM skills within aviation and aerospace, as well as driving ambitious delivery of our Reach for the Sky programme. The twelve Aviation Ambassadors will also play an important role in
supporting and improving diversity, inclusion and accessibility in aviation careers and related
jobs. The Government will also work in partnership with the CAA and the sector to better
understand and plan for the future skills needs of aviation across the UK.

8. Make the UK the best place in the world for General Aviation – recognise the important
role General Aviation plays in providing domestic and international connectivity for a range of
areas. This includes business, sport and leisure, training and emergency services. It also
supports businesses and aviation services, including maintenance and manufacturing firms.
We also recognise the important role General Aviation, and businesses within General Aviation, play in supporting innovation, decarbonisation and skills. We will continue to work in partnership with the CAA and the sector to implement our ambitious General Aviation Roadmap. In addition, we will ensure we seize opportunities from leaving the EU, including making further changes to improve the regulatory environment.

Delivering for users

9. Improve the consumer experience – build consumer confidence, make aviation accessible and inclusive for all, and facilitate a smooth border experience. We will work with industry and the CAA to offer greater consumer protections and improve accessibility through modernising our approach. This will include building on opportunities to improve consumer protection on domestic flights following our exit from the EU. We will also communicate better with consumers than ever before through publishing an Aviation Passenger Charter.

10. Retain our world-leading record on security and safety with a world-leading regulator
– leaving the EU has given us increased autonomy to develop a safety regulatory framework that meets both the needs of the UK and global standards. We will continue to work closely with the CAA to ensure safety standards are clear but flexible, and continue to be seen as the best in the world. We will also ensure we are regularly modernising and adapting to meet the needs of the sector and consumers, now and in the future. As part of this, we will work closely with ICAO following the Universal Security Audit Programme, and ahead of the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme, to ensure the UK is seen at the global forefront of regulatory standards and practices. We are also refreshing the UK Aviation Security Strategy to ensure our security activity stays ahead of the threats to aviation and continues to meet the needs of an evolving aviation sector, including promoting the most effective security standards globally.


See the full, truly depressing (and oblivious of environmental responsibility) document at

Jobs and passengers at the heart of government’s 10-point plan for aviation

New strategy launches to build an innovative and sustainable aviation sector.

DfT press release

From:   Department for Transport and Robert Courts MP
Published    26 May 2022

Government launches 10-point strategy to deliver an innovative and sustainable aviation sector as it recovers from the pandemic
new aviation passenger charter will ensure consumers know their rights when flying
Aviation Council established to bring the aviation sector together to learn the lessons of the pandemic and grow back sustainably
Consumers, jobs and innovation are at the heart of the government’s new strategy for building the aviation sector of tomorrow.

Launched by Aviation Minister Robert Courts during a visit to Heathrow Airport, Flightpath to the future aims to rebuild consumer confidence, build back sustainably from the pandemic, support jobs across the country and build a skilled and diverse workforce that’s fit for the future.

The delivery of the new 10-point plan will be supported by an all-new Aviation Council made up of airlines, airports and wider representatives from the aviation sector, as well as ministers and officials from both the UK government and devolved administrations.

The council will work to use the lessons learned from the pandemic to support recovery and make air travel better for passengers and better for the planet.

As outlined in the strategy, the government will launch a new aviation passenger charter later this year, a one-stop guide for consumers informing them of their rights and what they can reasonably expect of the aviation industry when flying.

The charter will be developed in partnership with industry and consumer groups to help rebuild consumer confidence in air travel following the pandemic.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said:

The pandemic posed an existential threat to the aviation sector. Now recovery has started, we have a chance to build back better than ever before.

Through this new strategy, I’m setting out 10 priorities to ensure we build an industry that’s not only fit for the future but one that’s world-leading.

By working closely with the sector to focus on sustainable growth, powered by the latest innovations, we can ensure aviation creates jobs and opportunities across all 4 nations of the UK.

The past few months have been challenging for the sector as it returns to business as usual with a massive recruitment drive now underway to meet demand. As set out in ‘Flightpath to the future’, the government will work closely with industry and consumer groups to help the sector to provide the best service possible for consumers.

Airport Operators Association Chief Executive, Karen Dee, said:

Airports provide the vital aviation links businesses across the UK need to trade within the UK and abroad. Post-pandemic, it is vital government and airports work together to rebuild and grow those links to support jobs and create new economic opportunities across all regions of the UK.

Airports look forward to working through the new Aviation Council with government ensure effective delivery of our shared ambitions to support levelling-up while also enabling people to take well-earned breaks abroad and reconnect with family and friends in other countries.

With the sector on the cusp of a green flying revolution, the government will work with it to develop the right skills and workforce to accommodate new technologies from drones, flying taxis and electric planes.

Richard Moriarty, Chief Executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

As aviation recovers, we share government’s ambitions for the sector to build back to become cleaner, greener, more innovative and to continue prioritising safety and delivering for its consumers.

The established and emerging aviation and aerospace sectors and their stakeholders will need to work together to deliver this and I’m looking forward to the Civil Aviation Authority being part of that collective effort.

The plans form a key part of the government’s levelling-up agenda, focusing on attracting and retaining the skills the sector needs as it recovers, unleashing the potential of the next generation and supporting a diverse workforce across the 4 nations of the UK that is fit for the future.

Ian Wilson, CEO DHL Express UK, said:

Air freight accounts for 40% of UK imports and exports and is vital for the UK economy, enabling international trade and supporting UK businesses.

As we look to the future, aviation will continue to play an important role in delivering on the UK’s freight ambitions, particularly when it comes to decarbonisation of the supply chain.

As a global business, DHL Express is making significant investments in zero and low emission innovations such as sustainable aviation fuel and electric cargo planes and we look forward to working alongside the government as the UK becomes a leading market for these clean technologies.

The plans set out today (26 May 2022) will also deliver benefits for communities across the whole country through new jobs and better connectivity by becoming one of the first countries in the world to routinely use new aircraft to provide new and improved low carbon transport for goods, people and trade.

We can also benefit from new regulatory freedoms outside the EU, for example, to support further growth of general aviation.

The government will also later this year publish its jet zero strategy and set out its vision for how the aviation sector can reach net zero by 2050.

UK ingenuity is already developing zero emission aircraft and sustainable aviation fuels and combined with improvements to airport and airspace efficiency, we will deliver net zero flying for everyone.

Today’s publication follows the Transport Secretary’s historic challenge to the industry to deliver the first ever net zero transatlantic flight by the end of 2023, powered purely by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – made from waste products, including household cooking oil and black bin rubbish.

Announced earlier this month, the pioneering test flight will be supported by up to £1 million of competition funding and will increase understanding of commercial flights powered by these fuels.

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