This afternoon I chaired a cross party meeting of MPs and called for the environment, communities and workers to be pivotal to the aviation sector’s recovery from the pandemic. In a report entitled Building Aviation Back Better, which launched today, we have provided a broad set of recommendations to Government, with ten of those recommendations, including :
- Accept the advice of the Climate Change Committee to amend the Climate Change Act to formally include international aviation in carbon budgets.
- Set an ambitious aviation emissions reductions trajectory that requires industry to achieve interim targets through the rollout of low/zero emission technology or demand management.
- Review of aviation taxes to ensure that they full reflect the environmental impact of the sector.
- Statutory regulation of aircraft noise with powers to enforce decisions.
- Reduce the number of night flight operations and explore the health and economic impact of enforcing an 8-hour night flight ban.
- Setting of zero-carbon targets for aviation with restrictions and penalties on airlines and aviation businesses failing to meet targets.
- Explore the introduction of a frequent flyer levy to ensure those who fly the most pay the highest price whilst also protecting the right for families to enjoy a holiday abroad.
- Establish a National Skills Fund to provide aviation workers, particularly those impacted by the pandemic, with greater financial and training support.
- The establishment of a Just Transition Commission to examine the retraining and reskilling opportunities for workers to transition to jobs in the zero-carbon economy.
- Reform Public Service Obligations and slot allocation mechanisms to ensure appropriate support for regional connectivity.
The report is the result of an inquiry held by the APPG, which invited views on how Government policy can best support the industry to build back better for a more sustainable aviation sector. The inquiry sought views on a number of key areas including decarbonisation, Community Impacts, Jobs, Regional Balance, Bailouts, Taxation and the Aviation White Paper.
The recovery from the pandemic provides a pivotal moment to rebalance the impact of aviation on our environment and local communities. Our clear recommendations provide Government with the opportunity to deliver investment across the country to make progress towards meeting our target of a being a carbon neutral economy by 2050. Regional airports are vital to communities up and down the country and we must make sure that we do not continue to invest in London at the expense of those communities.
The full report can be read here.