The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged the UK government to use the opportunity of the national aviation policy consultation to enable aviation to generate more economic growth and jobs. Specifically, IATA asked the government to address high taxes and severe capacity constraints while developing policies to support the industry’s commitments on climate change.
“The UK is the world’s second largest market for international air travel, bringing enormous benefits to the economy,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO in a speech to the UK Aviation Club. “Aviation in the UK is at the center of over GBP90 billion (US$146 billion) of economic activity and supports the livelihoods of nearly 1.8 million people. The connectivity provided by aviation enables London to function as a global financial center, to be a global hub of culture and to host the Olympics. Great Britain is an island. Aviation connects it to the global community and global economy. government policies must recognise and nurture that important role,” he urged.
But Tyler warned aviation’s future capability to be a pillar supporting the UK economy is jeopardised by a regulatory approach that constrains the growth of the UK’s only hub airport (Heathrow) and a fiscal policy that burdens the industry with heavy taxes. He added that Heathrow is currently operating at 99 per cent of its capacity. IATA encouraged the government to address these issues in a national aviation policy that will follow from the ongoing consultation process.