Aviation plan prioritises passengers and sustainability

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

Proposals to build on the aviation industry’s work to improve the flying experience for passengers are detailed in the aviation strategy ‘next steps’ document issued on April 7.

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

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 noise, greenhouse gas emissions and airspace congestion.

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

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

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 each 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.

Aviation minister Baroness Sugg said: “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.”