GOVERNMENT’S AVIATION STRATEGY “MISSES THE MARK” ON SUSTAINABILITY AND GROWTH – CBI
Strategy must make the UK more competitive, productive and connected
The Government’s Aviation Strategy does not do enough to practically set out how the UK will increase its global connectivity whilst meeting its sustainability targets, according to the CBI.
Responding to the Aviation 2050 Green Paper Consultation, Britain’s largest business group says that the aviation sector can both help grow the economy – through increased connectivity between the whole of the UK and new markets – and tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions.
The sector – worth around £52 billion, supporting one million jobs and accounting for 40% of the UK’s trade by value – is critical to the country’s future. With a renewed focus on global trade links, established and emerging, the sector will be pivotal to providing connectivity with, and access to, the UK market.
Among the proposals to the Government in the CBI’s response to the consultation are:
- A leading role for the UK in strengthening international frameworks for managing aviation emissions
- The creation of an Office for Sustainable Aviation Fuels to enable the UK to become a global leader in sustainable aviation
- Making best use of runways so airports can provide the improved direct connections that consumers want to see and airlines can deliver
- Modernising airspace to reduce noise and emissions while maximising capacity
- A holistic approach, joining up key pieces of infrastructure, such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, with airports to deliver connectivity growth for the whole of the UK
- Recognition of the importance of air freight with practical steps for growth, such as reviewing night flight restrictions.
Tom Thackray, CBI Infrastructure and Energy, said:
“Aviation has long been a major success story for the UK. If we want to keep it that way, we must keep pace with our global competitors. Aviation does not happen in isolation, but in a global and highly competitive market.
“Firms want to see a much more ambitious strategy that better connects the UK’s airports, ensuring they play their part in getting British exports from every corner of the UK to key markets around the globe.
“Business is also clear that growth can – and must - go hand in hand with reducing carbon emissions. This is an opportunity for the UK to become a world leader in sustainable aviation. Supporting innovation and cutting-edge technology that allows aviation to grow sustainably must be a top priority for the Government.”