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 the decades and beyond, the government announced today.
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.
The review 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.
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.
At Manchester a £1 billion investment programme will provide passengers and airlines with world-class airport facilities, and deliver a major boost to the UK’s growth prospects and international competitiveness.
Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, said: “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 Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, representing 70 airlines, has welcomed the government‘s vision for the future of UK aviation.
Commenting on the launch of the new aviation strategy call for evidence document, Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR UK said: “We commend the government’s recognition that aviation is a principle enabler and driver of the UK economy and the need for a cohesive and effective strategy to deliver growth and consumer benefits.
“Global connectivity will be paramount to the UK’s success as we leave the European Union and it is essential that issues like border security, the customer experience, and tackling the world’s highest passenger tax, are intrinsic to the new strategy.
“It is vital that this important piece of work does not remain a strategic document, like the stagnated 2003 White Paper, but is quickly and decisively acted upon with an effective implementation programme.”
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