AOA Report: Aviation Key To UK Economy

THE UK’S Airport Operators Association (AOA) has published a report setting out the economic benefits that aviation brings to the UK economy.  The document, ‘The Contribution of Aviation to the UK Economy’, shows that the UK’s air transport infrastructure is critical to boosting the wider economy.  It states that if growth in air transport capacity is restricted to just 1.5% a year − touted as a UK-only measure to reduce aviation’s environmental impact − by 2030 the economy could forego more than £30 billion a year of wealth creation and support 700,000 fewer jobs.
The latest Department for Transport forecasts show that by 2030, there will be passenger demand in the UK for 434 million flights, an increase of about 3% a year.  But if growth in flying were restricted to just 1.5% a year, the report estimates that average return air fares could see a 40% rise from £258 to £360, by 2020.
The report, prepared by independent economic consultants Oxera, also says that as the economy begins to recover, the role of aviation in supporting businesses through international connectivity, the movement of goods and people, and attracting inward investment, will be important in underpinning and accelerating recovery.  To do this, it says, aviation should be harnessed, not penalised.  The report also points out the damage that could be caused to the sector by UK-only alternatives to an international emissions cap, such as the Government’s recently increased Air Passenger Duty.