Passengers, sustainable growth and trade prioritised in UK aviation plan

Passengers, sustainable growth and trade prioritised in UK aviation plan

Prioritising passengers, fostering sustainable growth and promoting trade are key elements outlined in government plans for the aviation sector.

Proposals to build on the aviation industry’s work to improve the flying experience for passengers at every stage of their journey are detailed in the aviation strategy ‘next steps’ document issued on Saturday.

New measures to help passengers make a more informed choice about their flight including providing more transparency on additional costs are included.

Work will be carried out to improve compensation for consumers, ensuring passengers are properly informed about their rights to claim when things go wrong and exploring greater powers to enforce regulations.

The document also outlines how the government will work with industry to ensure all passengers have a “dignified and comfortable” travelling experience, including ways to improve accessibility at airports and on aircraft and tackling the issue of disruptive passengers.

More details on ambitious plans to make Britain’s aviation sector the world’s greenest were also provided, including proposals to tackle issues around noise, greenhouse gas emissions and airspace congestion.

Environmental proposals include the introduction of new noise targets, strengthened noise controls at airports and improved compensation for people living near airports.

The government will also work with industry to reduce the usage of single use plastics and improve recycling rates.

Measures to support the use of quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft will be explored, as well as the emergence of electric and hybrid technology.

The strategy will examine the agreements UK has with other countries to operate flights, identify opportunities to improve connectivity and open up new routes for overseas investment.

Other proposals include reviewing the allocation of airport landing slots to ensure the process is fair, transparent and fosters a competitive market place which benefits consumers by offering more choice.

The ‘next steps’ document makes clear the government’s commitment to ensuring the aviation sector continues to grow.

The sector already contributes at least £22 billion to the UK economy a year and the strategy will examine what can be done to help it develop even further.

The proposals being outlined in the ‘next steps’ document will be consulted on further in the autumn, with the final strategy due for publication in early 2019.

An initial call for evidence for the aviation strategy was issued last July, receiving almost 380 responses.

Aviation minister Baroness Sugg said: “Our world class aviation industry has a proud and accomplished history, from pioneering the first international routes to championing consumer choice.

“Working with industry, we want to improve the flying experience from booking to arrival, ensuring passengers are truly at the heart of the aviation sector.

“This demonstrates our commitment to creating a transport system which works for passengers as we build a Britain fit for the future.”

Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said: “The strategy is an opportunity to recognise the value and importance of aviation to the UK – in particular in a post-Brexit world – and identify how government and industry can work together to meet rising passenger and freight demand, whilst continuing to deliver for the consumer.

“We’re looking for a strategy that will seek to address some of the key challenges facing our sector – including putting in place a well-funded and effective border operation that can meet future growth, modernising an outdated system of airspace management, and dealing with an ever-increasing rate of aviation tax that does so much to damage our connectivity.

“We look forward to working with ministers on these issues, and in the meantime airlines will continue doing what they’ve always done – putting on new routes and increasing the range of services to passengers, bringing down the cost of travel while improving accessibility, and reducing our environmental impact.”

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