Three leading trade associations have joined forces to call for the government to take a “bold” stance when dealing with its new aviation policy.
ADS Group, the Airport Operators Association and the British Air Transport Association, representing more than 2,800 aviation manufacturers, airports and airlines respectively, spoke out ahead of the start of consultation on the policy next month.
In a joint statement today, they said: “As the coalition government recognises, the UK’s economy needs to compete in both established and emerging markets.
“This requires excellent aviation connectivity right across the country, ensuring the UK has both vibrant point to point airports and sufficient world class hub capacity.
“This means prioritising a favourable planning and regulatory regime and developing a bold aviation policy, permitting new airport capacity where required.”
They add: “To ensure there is no further erosion of the UK’s competitive position, the government must set a clear timetable for these measures to be put in place, as part of a new aviation policy.”
Darren Caplan, chief executive of AOA, said: “Last November, the Treasury recognised the importance aviation plays in connecting the whole of the national economy and in fostering links with existing and emerging overseas economies.
“Number 10 now needs to support aviation too, and to act fast to ensure we have the aviation network and capacity required for the UK to grow.
“Delay will simply cost the country jobs, businesses and routes to our international trading partners.”
Simon Buck, chief executive of Bata, said: “Aviation is directly responsible for nearly a million jobs. If one looks at the wider visitor economy as a whole, its direct and indirect impact is 8.2% of GDP, equivalent to £114 billion and 2.6 million jobs.”
Graham Chisnall, deputy chief executive and aerospace managing director of ADS, added: “Britain has the world’s second largest aerospace manufacturing sector. However, this is a globally competitive business so we need policies that nurture the industry and keep its high-tech jobs in the UK.”
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