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Routes News

09 May 2019

BY Edward Robertson

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‘Brexit can aid airlines’ says Flybe chief

Brexit should give the aviation industry a chance to renegotiate consumer rights agreements.

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Keith Artus: “There are all sorts of airspace design plans that are lagging behind planning permission given to airports. It always seems to be the wrong way round for us.”

That was the message of Flybe chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener, speaking at the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum in London last week.


She urged the government to use the departure from the EU to free the UK aviation industry from certain rules – including EU Regulation 261, which entitles a flyer to compensation of between €250 and €600 if their flight is delayed by more than three hours.


Ourmieres-Widener said: “Leaving the EU offers the opportunity for the UK to address this disparity.”


Meanwhile, Keith Artus, chairman of the Strategic Aviation Special Interest Group, urged the government to do more joined-up thinking when considering an airspace design for the whole of the UK, rather than leaving it to individual regions and agencies.


He also argued the plans needed to move more quickly to ensure they are relevant to airports trying to build new infrastructure in order to grow.


Artus added: “There are all sorts of airspace design plans that are lagging behind planning permission given to airports. It always seems to be the wrong way round for us.”


Heathrow sustainability and environment director Matt Gorman also argued a global carbon trading market would be the best way to allow aviation to offset its carbon emissions.


But he said that the aviation sector should be given more credit in cleaning up its act than it is currently being afforded.


Gorman added: “Flights have nearly doubled [at Heathrow], but the noise footprint has shrunk by 90% in the last 40 years.”


Ourmieres-Widener also took the opportunity to urge the government to rethink Air Passenger Duty (APD), and particularly the fact that it is levied on both legs of a domestic journey, as opposed to once internationally.

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