Transport CommitteeWritten evidence from the British Air Transport Association (AS 71)

The British Air Transport Association (BATA) welcomes the opportunity to submit evidence to the inquiry conducted by the Transport Select Committee into aviation strategy.

BATA is the trade body for UK registered airlines. Our 10 members cover all sectors of the airline industry—including freight, charter, low fare, regional operations and full service. In 2011, BATA members employed 73,000 people, operated four-fifths of the UK commercial aircraft fleet and were responsible for some 96% of UK airline output, carrying 129 million passengers and 1.1 million tonnes of cargo. The 10 BATA member airlines are: British Airways, DHL, easyJet, Flybe,, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson Airways, Titan Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Given the short period allowed for responding to this wide ranging and broad inquiry, we will initially only be able to provide to the Committee the evidence we submitted in October 2011 to the Department for Transport consultation exercise "Developing a sustainable framework for UK aviation: scoping document". It is our belief that this will address most of the issues raised by the Committee's new inquiry.

We are able to confirm that our position regarding aviation policy and capacity is that it is vital for the UK's economic prosperity that we have a policy that addresses the needs of all the UK, without continuing delay.

As the Coalition Government recognises, the UK's economy needs to compete in both established and emerging markets. This requires excellent aviation connectivity right across the country, ensuring the UK has both vibrant point to point airports and sufficient world class hub capacity. This means prioritising a favourable planning and regulatory regime and developing a bold aviation policy, where new airport capacity is required. To ensure there is no further erosion of the UK's competitive position, the Government must set a clear timetable for these measures to be put in place and this requires cross-party support in order to prevent the continuation of the "see-saw" of aviation policy the UK has experienced over recent decades.

We also endorse the submission to the Committee from "A Fair Tax on Flying" campaign, of which BATA is a member.

BATA will of course also be happy to appear before the Committee during the oral evidence sessions if required.

19 October 2012

Prepared 31st May 2013