British Air Transport Association responds to Labour Party manifesto
April 13th, 2015
Responding to the publication of the Labour Party manifesto, Nathan Stower, Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association (BATA) said:
“I welcome Labour’s commitment to make a swift decision on expanding airport capacity in London and the South East. Whichever option is proposed in the Commission’s final report there will be controversy and some disagreement, but the UK cannot afford further delay. I hope that a speedy decision will enable substantial progress to be made during the life of the next Parliament.
“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, but imposing a new charge on non-visa visitors to fund 1,000 additional staff is not a sensible approach. Visitors from countries like the USA and Australia already pay the highest air passenger tax in the world to visit the UK by air at £71. Adding yet another charge will make the UK more uncompetitive in attracting international tourists, business travellers and inbound investment. We will propose alternative means of funding additional Border Force staff if Labour form the next Government.”
Last month BATA published a manifesto on behalf of UK airlines. Ready for take off: our priorities for the new Parliament sets out the vitally important economic and social contribution that UK airlines make to national life. Five key policy areas are identified where action is required in the next Parliament.
- Tax – abolition of Air Passenger Duty to transform the UK’s competitive position, lower the cost of flying and deliver significant benefits to the economy
- Airport capacity – the green light for new runway capacity without imposing pre-funding on today’s passengers, alongside further improvements to surface access to support airline growth at other airports.
- Sustainability – including support for the commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuels and controlling development near airports to support the industry’s actions in limiting the number of people seriously affected by noise.
- Border & Visas – keep Britain open for business and tourists whilst protecting the border, including providing Border Force with the resources it needs to maintain service levels and the need to make further progress on visa accessibility and competitiveness.
- Protecting passengers – secure lasting reform to European law to deliver clearer consumer rights and support industry progress in improving the passenger experience for persons with reduced mobility.
13th April 2015