Howard Davies has been selected by prime minister David Cameron to investigate aviation capacity in the UK. Davies will begin work today, with a report due in 2015 outlining long-term possibilities for increasing airport space, particularly in the south-east of England.
Passengers at Birmingham Airport are experiencing delays after a plane skidded off the runway. The runway at the airport has been closed, with accident investigators at the scene.
In a move sure to anger equality campaigners, the UK Border Agency has told parliament it is working on plans to allow “high-value” travellers preferential treatment at airports. Passengers viewed as valuable to either airlines or the UK economy could be offered the service, which is already available to business class travellers.
In a disappointing, but not unexpected, announcement, the UK government has confirmed a planned consultation on expanding airports in south-east England has been delayed. Expected to be announced later, the consultation has now been pushed back until the autumn, with government splits over a potential third runway at London Heathrow thought to be behind the latest decision.
The three leading trade associations in the aviation sector have come together to call on the government to be “bold” when it launches its consultation on aviation policy next month. ADS Group, the Airport Operators Association and the British Air Transport Association issued a joint statement earlier calling on the government to “prioritise a favourable planning and regulatory regime” for aviation.
Britain’s aviation industry should be able to grow and prosper but not at any price, transport secretary Philip Hammond has said. The announcement comes as the coalition government set out to define the debate for a new sustainable UK aviation policy.
Leading travel insurance website, insurewithease.com, is offering advice for travellers who may be facing delays or cancellations as a result of the volcanic ash drifting towards the UK from Iceland and disrupting flights to and from virtually every UK airport.
Tens of thousands of airline passengers across Northern Europe face travel chaos today after a mushroom cloud of volcanic debris from Iceland heads towards the Continent. All UK airspace has been closed since midday, leaving thousands of families returning from their Easter holidays stranded.
Despite increasing calls for improvement, reports on the delay monitoring website www.ukairportdelays.co.uk show that UK airports were still not prepared for the traditionally heavy August bank holiday traffic, leaving travellers frustrated over the weekend.