Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has today (15 July 2014) updated Parliament on steps the government has taken to help the UK make the most of its existing airport capacity.
This follows recommendations made by the independent Airports Commission in its interim report published in December 2013. The Commission, which is continuing its examination of longer term options, recommended a number of measures to help the UK make the most effective use of existing airport capacity.
Patrick McLoughlin said:
We have some of the best air connections in the world, and making sure we have the airport capacity we need for the UK’s future growth and prosperity is a key part of our long term economic plan.
We are taking steps now to make the best use of what we already have, and looking at what more can be done in the short to medium term while the Airports Commission prepares its recommendations on the best options in the long run.
The work of Sir Howard Davies and the Airports Commission is crucial to achieving our economic plan. Publication of the Commission’s final report in summer 2015 will be an important event not just for the aviation industry, but for the national economy.
Today’s (15 July 2014) statement updates on the progress that has been made in implementing the Airports Commission’s Interim Report Short Term Recommendations.
It is published to coincide with the first report of the Senior Delivery Group, set up by the Department for Transport earlier this year on the recommendation of the Commission to allow the aviation industry and the regulator to work on the sustainable growth of the sector.
The end goal of the group will be to drive forward a Future Airspace Strategy (FAS) which is expected to deliver annual benefits of over £150 million to the aviation industry and environment by 2020 and more than £2 billion worth of cumulative benefits by 2030.
The government welcomes the progress made on the strategy so far and measures are already being taken by the department and its partners that will ensure better access to airports by road and rail.
The Airports Commission is expected to make its final recommendations in the summer 2015.