Press release

Putting aviation red tape under the spotlight

Passengers and the aviation industry are being given the chance to cut red tape to make life easier for passengers and boost business.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Passengers and the aviation industry are being given the chance to cut red tape to make life easier for passengers and boost business.

Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers is putting the spotlight on around 90 aviation regulations that have been placed on the Red Tape Challenge website today. The exercise gives people the opportunity to say whether they think that a regulation is well designed and provides vital protection or is badly designed, badly implemented or simply a bad idea.

Regulations under the spotlight include instances where UK rules go beyond the minimum required by EU or international legislation. The exercise also offers an opportunity to see if some of the UK’s more historic aviation legislation is still fit for purpose and suited to today’s aviation needs.

Areas for deregulatory consideration include:

  • getting rid of all non-essential regulatory burdens on the aviation sector in order to unlock private sector-led economic growth
  • replacing obsolete legislation and delivering a new system of regulation, more focused than the current regime (work on this is already underway through the Civil Aviation Bill)
  • removing redundant regulation

Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers said:

This is a chance for everyone to have their say, whether they are a passenger, the owner of an airline or a light aircraft or are just an aviation enthusiast. We are determined to scrap any regulations which are disproportionate or obsolete, getting rid of non-essential regulatory burdens on the aviation sector.

There’s no doubt that good quality regulation can add real value to the competitiveness of the aviation industry while balancing genuine environmental, safety and security concerns. But reducing red tape by getting rid of regulations which are unnecessary means we can help UK businesses become more competitive and create more jobs.

The government has recruited experienced sector champions who will be providing expert knowledge during the Red Tape Challenge based on the issues they face in their fields. The sector champions for aviation are:

  • Simon Buck, Chief Executive, British Air Transport Association
  • Tim Johnson, Director, Aviation Environment Federation
  • Rob Siddall, Policy Director, Airport Operators Association
  • Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive, ABTA
  • Paul Bishop, Managing Director, DHL Air UK
  • James Tannock, Chief Executive, Light Aircraft Association
  • Marc Bailey, Chief Executive, British Business and General Aviation Association

Simon Buck, Chief Executive at British Air Transport Association, said:

The airline industry faces regulation not just from UK authorities but also from European and global regulators. This why we welcome the Red Tape Challenge as a way of identifying and reducing national regulation that may have become unnecessary, burdensome or simply obsolete having been overlaid by international requirements and I am pleased to be involved with this initiative.

Tim Johnson, Director at Aviation Environment Federation, said:

Regulation can both promote and impede effective environmental protection. Pausing to examine how legislation is working in practice is a valuable opportunity for us to identify if it is still relevant in terms of being practical to implement or promoting environmentally-beneficial outcomes.

Rob Siddall, Policy Director at Airport Operators Association, said:

Helping ensure that the UK’s airports operate in the right business climate to flourish is a core activity for The Airport Operators Association. The Red Tape Challenge operates right on that territory, by looking for regulation that’s no longer needed or can be done differently. We’re looking forward to playing our part in it.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive at the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), said:

Aviation is the lifeblood connecting the UK to the world. Good aviation regulation is essential to a successful and thriving sector that could help to facilitate the growth desperately needed in the UK. Businesses within the aviation sector, and the many businesses dependent upon it, have a unique opportunity to identify to government those pieces of regulation which are holding back growth.

The overall aim of the Red Tape Challenge, a government-wide initiative to reduce bureaucracy, is to remove barriers to economic growth and increase individual freedoms. The presumption is that regulations will go, unless their retention can be justified.

Notes to editors

The Red Tape Challenge was launched by the Prime Minister on 7 April 2011, giving the public a chance to have their say on the more than 10,000 regulations that affect their everyday lives.

The Aviation Theme will go live on the Red Tape Challenge website on 28 June 2011.

20 themes, totalling over 3700 regulations have been launched on the Red Tape Challenge website so far.

Overall, of the 1500 regulations (across 8 themes) where ministers have already made decisions, the government has committed to scrap or improve well over 50% - decisions that will bring real benefits to business, civil society organisations and individuals.

The Red Tape Challenge process does not include legislation falling within the responsibilities of the devolved administrations.

For each sector theme, experienced sector champions are appointed who will provide expert knowledge in their specialist field; the champion acts as an intermediary between the sector and government, including helping to direct the web-based debates and discussions.

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Published 28 June 2012