ITC report calls on the UK Government to prioritise aviation industry post Brexit

11 / 12 / 2017

Think tank the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) has called for the UK's aviation industry to be a priority for Government thinking in regards to any post-Brexit world.

The ITC-commissioned report – ‘The Strategic Challenges Facing UK Aviation: Assessing the future of UK air connectivity’ – was written by a former Bank of England economist, Rebecca Driver of Analytically Driven Ltd.

The ITC notes that the report builds upon its own expertise by examining the economic impact, environmental issues and connectivity associated with airport capacity growth in the south-east of England.

According to the report, statistics demonstrate the huge economic value of the British aviation industry, the sector being responsible for delivering higher productivity, higher-paying jobs across the country, increased foreign investment and boosting trade.

The key benefits of good air connectivity, it says, include: facilitating trade and global supply, as well as promoting investment and industry collaboration.

The report shows that improvements in air connectivity – the introduction of direct flights, higher frequency of flight services and increased competition – bring major economic benefits as well as improving the structure of economies and the benefits that flow from this, ITC summarised.

Following the news earlier this week that the UK Government and the EU had come to an agreement on phase I issues relating to Brexit, the two parties are now expected to embark on talks with regard to complex trade issues as part of a second phase of negotiations.

Moreover, the National Policy Statement for Aviation – a policy document for progressing airport expansion proposals – remains in the Westminster parliamentary process, and Matthew Niblett, director of the ITC, has called for decisive action from the Government: “If we do not fast track support for the UK’s aviation sector, then the aspirations laid out in the Industrial Strategy and the Brexit talks will remain stacked in the congested skies above south-east England,” he insisted.

“The blueprint for harnessing the growth potential of the aviation sector is simple. Reshape aviation taxes and investment incentives, promote airport expansion and strike new international air service agreements with key trading partners and new growth areas,” Niblett concluded.

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