UK to issue roadmap for future of aviation

The UK will today unveil a ten point plan to create the aviation industry of the future.

Aviation minister Robert Courts is to use a visit to Heathrow Airport to launch “Flightpath to the Future” which aims to rebuild consumer confidence, build back sustainably from the pandemic, support jobs across the country and build a skilled and diverse workforce that’s fit for the future.

The delivery of the new ten-point plan will be supported by an all-new Aviation Council made up of airlines, airports and wider representatives from the aviation sector, as well as ministers and officials from both the UK Government and Devolved Administrations.

The Council will work to use the lessons learned from the pandemic to support recovery and make air travel better for passengers and better for the planet.

The strategy outlines the Government will launch a new Aviation Passenger Charter later this year, a one-stop guide for consumers informing them of their rights and what they can reasonably expect of the aviation industry when flying.

The Charter will be developed in partnership with industry and consumer groups to help rebuild consumer confidence in air travel following the pandemic.

Courts explained: “The pandemic posed an existential threat to the aviation sector. Now recovery has started, we have a chance to build back better than ever before.

“Through this new strategy, I’m setting out ten priorities to ensure we build an industry that’s not only fit for the future, but one that’s world-leading.

“By working closely with the sector to focus on sustainable growth, powered by the latest innovations, we can ensure aviation creates jobs and opportunities across all four nations of the UK.”

He added the past few months “have been challenging for the sector” as it returns to business as usual with a massive recruitment drive now underway to meet demand.

“As set out in Flightpath to the Future, the Government will work closely with industry and consumer groups to help the sector to provide the best service possible for consumers,” said Courts.

He said with the sector on the cusp of a green flying revolution, the Government will work with it to develop the right skills and workforce to accommodate new technologies from drones, flying taxis and electric planes.

The plans form a key part of the Government’s levelling up agenda, focusing on attracting and retaining the skills the sector needs as it recovers, unleashing the potential of the next generation, and supporting a diverse workforce across the four nations of the UK that is fit for the future.

“The plans set out today will also deliver benefits for communities across the whole country through new jobs and better connectivity by becoming one of the first countries in the world to routinely use new aircraft to provide new and improved low carbon transport for goods, people and trade. We can also benefit from new regulatory freedoms outside the EU, for example, to support further growth of General Aviation,” said Courts.

He said the Government will later this year publish its Jet Zero Strategy and set out its vision for how the aviation sector can reach net zero by 2050.

“UK ingenuity is already developing zero emission aircraft and sustainable aviation fuels, and combined with improvements to airport and airspace efficiency, we will deliver net zero flying for everyone.”

Today’s announcement follows transport secretary Grant Shapps’ challenge to the industry to deliver the first ever net zero transatlantic flight by the end of 2023, powered purely by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – made from waste products, including household cooking oil and black bin rubbish.

The Council will work to use the lessons learned from the pandemic to support recovery and make air travel better for passengers and better for the planet.

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