The government is today launching the Aviation 2050 consultation - a long-term plan for the future of the sector in the UK.
It proposes new measures to ensure the UK’s aviation sector continues to bring significant benefits to the UK economy and citizens up to 2050 and beyond, including a new passenger charter, practical requirements to reduce emissions and noise levels and more use of innovative technology.
Aviation is worth more than £22 billion to the UK economy through creating jobs, boosting growth and connecting regions.
As passenger and freight demand increases, the consultation proposes a partnership for future sustainable growth.
This will ensure the UK continues to benefit from a world class choice of connections and airlines while tackling the environmental and community impacts of flights.
The consultation also sets out how the government plans to modernise our airspace, ensuring journeys are quicker, cleaner and more efficient in the future, reducing congestion, noise and emissions and helping avoid future delays.
Aviation minister, Liz Sugg, said: “Our aviation sector is world-leading, and the Aviation 2050 strategy will promote success in the coming decades.
“Our ambition is to expand our international connections, boost trade and investment and strengthening domestic links to support businesses and travelling passengers.
“By working with industry, we will drive sustainable growth, ensuring the next generation will continue to benefit from the growing number of opportunities this exciting and innovative sector offers.”
Proposals in the consultation include commitments to signing further liberal air service agreements with countries around the world to boost trade and tourism, measures to encourage greater competition and more choice for passengers and the modernisation UK airspace to improve efficiency and reduce delays.
It includes plans to embed noise exposure levels into the planning approval process, the introduction of noise caps which will be regularly reviewed and enforced, along with the appointment of a chair of the new independent commission on civil aviation noise.
Tackling climate change will be a key requirement of future growth, with a proposal for negotiating a long-term global emissions target for international aviation to incentivise industry to adopt cleaner technologies.
Plans include that applications for growth must also demonstrate they will not prevent the UK’s ability to meet its Climate Change Act 2008 targets.
The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK welcomed the launch of the long-awaited green paper.
Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR UK, said: “The UK has benefitted from a highly competitive aviation sector that pays its own way, but airlines have been facing increasing infrastructure, taxation and regulatory challenges that are holding the sector back.
“This new strategy marks the first fully integrated industrial strategy for the aviation sector and is a vital step to unlocking the full potential of aviation for consumers and the economy.
“We look forward to engaging with the government to sense check their strategic proposals and to work together on the ambitious implementation schedule needed to achieve the industry’s and the government’s aims.”
Manchester Airports Group – which operates Manchester Airport and Stansted, among other airports – also gave a warm welcome to the consultation.
“The UK’s aviation sector underpins this government’s aspirations for a global Britain.
“As it sets out proposals for a new aviation strategy, it is vital that government focusses on how it can enable growth in both the short and the long term,” read a statement from the company.
“Airports like Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands are strategic national assets, connecting people and goods to the world.
“As MAG invests more than £1.5bn in our airports over the next five years, we want to work with government to improve road and rail infrastructure around our airports to maximise the benefits of direct connectivity right across the country.”