Aviation plays a major role in our national and economic life. UK airlines connect people and businesses, boost UK tourism and trade and support a highly skilled aerospace supply chain. Airlines UK members employ in excess of 90,000 people, serve over 276 million passengers and carry around 1.2 million tonnes of cargo.
We are calling for the following actions to create a framework for UK airlines to compete, grow and deliver even more for the UK in the years ahead.
Help deliver net zero carbon aviation
With the right Government support net zero carbon is within reach for UK aviation by 2050:
- Support a partnership approach between Government and industry to support the aviation industry in its efforts to decarbonise by investing in the green aviation technologies of the future.
- Make the UK a world-leader in Sustainable Aviation Fuels through the creation of a new cross-departmental support body, committing to £500m in public-private funding, and bringing Recycled Carbon Fuels into The Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation.
- Deliver critical UK airspace modernisation to cut delays and reduce carbon emissions by 10% through operating more direct routes and eliminating holding stacks above airports.
- Increase long-term investment in the R&D critical for the development of future hybrid-electric and fully electric passenger aircraft.
- Support the successful implementation of the UN global Carbon Offsetting Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) from 2020, and push for a stronger global aviation emissions reduction target at the 2022 ICAO Assembly, consistent with the Paris Agreement.
Strengthen UK connectivity
Aviation connectivity is vital to business and consumers:
- Support the expansion of Heathrow to maintain the UK’s hub status, that is consistent with Department for Transport guidance on carbon reduction and ensuring the effective regulation of the airport so that expansion is delivered at an affordable cost to customers, with airport charges not increasing and reducing over time.
- Support all UK airports making best use of existing runway and terminal capacity, and additional capacity beyond 2030, provided landing charges do not rise, operational resilience is prioritised, and the UK is able to accommodate this growth whilst meeting its commitments on carbon reduction.
- Cut Air Passenger Duty by at least 50% across the board, with a long term aim of abolishing it, and end the double taxation on domestic air travel to boost UK connectivity and support regional aviation.
- Commit to an Airports Connectivity Study to improve understanding of where bottlenecks occur with respect to surface access and which airport connectivity projects should prioritised.
Deliver for UK air freight
UK consumers and businesses benefit from a thriving UK air freight sector:
- Recognise the UK strategic importance of air freight by directing the National Infrastructure Commission to examine what infrastructure will be required to enable the UK to capitalise on global trends in air freight up to 2050.
- Commit to no further restrictions to Night Flight air cargo operations, supported by guidance for local authorities on the application of the Balanced Approach to night controls.
Border security is a key government function and Border Force must have the resources it needs to deliver a safe and secure border while meeting passenger expectations for queue times and customer service.
- Introduce a long-term border strategy, consistent with long-term passenger growth forecasts, and developed in close co-operation with industry.
- Ensure the necessary funding for Border Force as befitting a key security function and rule out the introduction of a per-passenger tax to fund the border.
- Establish, in close cooperation with industry, new Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for waiting times based on passenger expectations, and develop a new SLA for the use of e-gates.
- Update insolvency legislation to ‘Keep the Fleet Flying’ in the event of an airline entering administration, enabling the carrier to use its own aircraft to return passengers to their point of departure.
- Rule out the introduction of a per-passenger levy to fund repatriation but ensure effective scrutiny by the CAA of at-risk airlines.
- Prioritise establishing a new comprehensive, liberal EU-UK Air Services Agreement with the EU that delivers a level playing field for UK operators and safeguards current market access, as well as secures UK participation in EASA.