ABTA welcomes the Government’s publication of the Aviation Scoping document as an important first step to build a new aviation policy.However, ABTA says the UK is slipping down the international competitiveness charts for aviation and it is concerned that the review does not address one of the most important issues concerning the industry and the travelling public – that of airport capacity at the UK’s busiest airports.
Luke Pollard, ABTA’s Head of Public Affairs said: “I welcome the Government’s challenge to engage in a serious debate about the future of aviation, and the environmental impact of flying, but any serious debate can’t ignore the impacts of a shortage of capacity in the UK’s airports in the South East. The Government’s decision to remove airport capacity from discussion is like issuing a rail policy without considering train tracks. Overcrowding is immediate, real and pressing given that the UK is hoping to welcome tens of thousands of extra overseas visitors in 2012 and hopes to use the travel and tourism industry to grow the UK economy in the long term.
“ABTA will provide a full comment on this discussion before September with the message that unless aviation capacity is considered fully then the future connectivity of the UK will be at risk; it will be more difficult for people to holiday; harder for people to do business and this will ultimately harm the UK’s economy and job growth potential.”