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04 Jul 2018

BY Edward Robertson

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Government must modernise UK airspace to grow capacity

The UK’s airspace needs to be better organised by the government in order to increase the country’s capacity.

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The government must take responsibility for the skies above us to help growth

Speaking at a reception at the Houses of Parliament organised by trade body Airlines UK, Airport Operators Association chairman Ed Anderson said better management of the airspace would help the country.

 

He added: "Our airspace needs to be modernised to enable the full use of all the technological advantages that these (modern) aircraft offer and that requires government leadership."

 

Anderson also used the speech to again demand the end of Air Passenger Duty which he believes is hampering the UK’s route development.

 

He added: "Many more destinations could be unlocked if we weren’t charging more than double the amount of tax than some of our neighbouring countries."

 

Anderson said increased connectivity was vital for the country, pointing out that for every 10% increase in aviation connectivity, the UK’s GDP grows by 0.5%.

 

He added the British public’s appetite for flying was also growing with more than half the population having taken a flight in 2017, a 10% increase since 2011.

 

His comments were supported by Airlines UK chairman Jane Middleton who also welcomed the recent decision by the government to build a third runway at Heathrow.

 

However, she warned against the expansion being used as an excuse to raise the cost of flying in and out of the west London airport.

 

She also urged the industry to continue focusing on remaining sustainable buy keeping noise and emissions to a minimum.

 

The government’s aviation minister Baroness Sugg agreed the vote to expand the airport had come at the right time as Britain prepares for Brexit.

 

She added: "Heathrow expansion will finally deliver much capacity at a time when air links are more needed than ever."

 

While she agreed that the growth was a positive thing, she added the caveat that it must always be within the limits of strict environmental standards.

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