LONDON, February 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
It's been a record year for the aviation sector, contributing over £50 billion towards UK GDP and providing over one million jobs. The Airport Operators Association (AOA) has partnered with ITN Productions to produce a news-style programme titled 'Airport Matters' examining the drivers of growth, and the challenges the industry still has to overcome.
Introduced by national newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, 'Airport Matters' is an in-depth online programme targeted at the aviation industry and featuring interviews, news-style reports, and sponsored editorial profiles. Maintaining growth to respond to rapidly increasing passenger numbers and the need to lead international exports, ensuring security and greater safety without compromising the experience of passengers, as well as responding to new sustainability standards, UK Aviation is dealing with a complex task. But as 'Airport Matters' reveals, some great improvements and achievements are already taking place.
The safety of passengers is of the upmost importance to airports. Security solutions suppliers and experts explain how they have tackled this challenge by designing and implementing new safety protocols and effective and durable security systems while enhancing the travelers' experience. Investing in 'cleaner, quieter, smarter' aviation and dealing with its environmental externalities also constitutes a major area of focus for the sector. Supportive policies on visas and the abolition of Air Passenger Duty (APD) for children has been welcomed, but the industry is now calling for the tax to be consistent across the whole of the UK following the announcement from the Scottish Government that it will start to reduce APD by 50% north of the border from 2018. Finally, the programme examines the crucial role of investors to support infrastructure development and future growth in the industry.
Statement from Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the AOA: "2015 has been another fascinating year for aviation. Passenger numbers continue to head in the right direction at airports across the UK and we are now at the same level of demand as in 2007, just before the economic crash. Airports have been investing huge sums of money in new infrastructure, in order to further improve the passenger experience and attract new airline customers, and this expenditure is paying off with new short and long-haul routes being announced almost on a weekly basis.
"On the policy front we have made progress on aviation tax, with APD being substantially reduced for the longest-haul routes in April and from May abolished for children under 12. We are now lobbying to ensure that the levy is applied consistently across the whole of the UK in the event of the Scottish Government reducing APD by half, as they have promised to start doing in 2018. The Government has also listened to the industry with respect to visas, and we have seen new policies announced aimed at encouraging more high-spending Chinese tourists to visit the UK, which we fully support.
"On the important issue of airport capacity, the Government is still to respond fully to the Airports Commission Final Report and we urge it to do so as quickly as possible, to remove uncertainly and ensure that the UK has the much needed capacity that it so desperately needs. In the meantime, it is important to remember that we need to make better use of existing capacity which helps all UK airports, and the Government can do more to assist on this, whether it's through taking steps to improve surface access - road and rail - to all airports, reducing APD or supporting long overdue airspace change."
Simon Shelley, Head of Industry News, said: "Video storytelling is the most compelling way to engage an audience and across the aviation landscape there are a plethora of innovative and creative solutions for security, safety and an enhanced passenger experience. We were delighted to tell those stories and explore a sector that will continue to expand, but clearly has to grow in the appropriate way.
The programme was launched at the AOA UK Aviation Conference on 23rd November which was moderated by news anchor and television presenter Natasha Kaplinsky. It is available online at http://www.aoa.org.uk/2015/11/airport-matters-2015-2/
Notes to editors:
About the AOA
The Airport Operators Association (AOA) is the trade association that represents UK airports. Its mission is to see UK airports grow sustainably. It represents the views of UK airports to Government, Parliament and Regulators to secure policy outcomes that help deliver our mission. The AOA represents some 70 UK airports and general aviation airfields in the UK. For more information, please visit http://www.aoa.org.uk
About ITN Productions
ITN Productions is ITN's bespoke production hub producing creative and commercially valuable content for the corporate, commercial, broadcast and digital sectors. Industry News forms part of this offering and is a communications tool for leading industry bodies and national associations produced in a broadcast news programme format, including interviews, news items and sponsored editorial profiles. For more information, visit http://www.itnproductions.co.uk
SOURCE ITN Productions and the AOA