Draft Aviation Policy Framework

30 October 2012

ANEC has responded to the Department for Transport's Draft Aviation Policy Framework, providing views on issues which councils consider to be critical to informing future aviation policy.

The draft framework recognises the crucial role played by North East airports and air services in economic development - but doesn't go far enough. ANEC's response makes the case for further specific policy mechanisms, fiscal levers and incentives that would support the growth of regional airports.   

The key areas of focus include making better use of regional airport capacity, the importance of route development, the need for extra capacity in the South East, changes to Air Passenger Duty, and support for a complementary approach to the development of air services and high speed rail.

We highlight how the expansion of air services at regional airports provide local businesses with fast and convenient access to key markets for passengers and freight transit, essential for the competitiveness of the North East economy.

We ask the Government to take a differential approach to Air Passenger Duty (APD) that would lower the rate for regional airports, which could have a transformational impact in terms of protecting key routes and attracting new ones. Regional airports have consistently argued APD has a disproportionate impact on their areas, which are less well connected compared to other UK and European locations.  

We make the case that Government policy ought to provide economic incentives to proactively encourage airlines to make better use of those regional airports where capacity is available.  Given the importance of access from the North East to London Heathrow for the economy of this area of the country we strongly support an aviation policy that, as part of the planning permission for expanding Heathrow, has some of the additional capacity ring-fenced for regional air services.

The need for an entirely complementary approach in relation to the development of air service connections, conventional and High Speed Rail is also highlighted in ANEC's response as providing the best possible opportunity for the North East to improve its connectivity into the future. 

Read the full ANEC response to the Department for Transport's Draft Aviation Policy Framework

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