Crawley MP and Future of Aviation Group Chair Henry Smith has launched the Group’s Aviation Recovery Plan to support the sector through the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve established and Chair the Future of Aviation Group, a cross-party coalition of MPs supporting the sector and urging the Government to take further action to assist this world-class industry.
“While Government deserves credit for stepping in and furloughing around 44,000 airline employees, it’s clear that the aviation sector needs further support for its employees.
“With Gatwick Airport in our borough boundary I’ve been clear that aviation’s recovery is not only about flights and trade, but what this vital sector means to hard-working families and whose employees have, in many cases, given significant periods of their lives to their careers.
“For their security we’re calling for a sector-specific extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
“I’m asking the Transport Secretary and his Cabinet colleagues to support the Future of Aviation Group’s Aviation Recovery Plan, which has protecting jobs and supporting businesses at its heart.”
The points included in the plan are;
1: Introduce COVID-19 testing
2: Introduce regional travel corridors
3: An employment support package to March 2021
4: Support the green recovery
5: Take action on business rates
6: Temporary suspension of Air Passenger Duty
7: Support for UK travel inbound tourism
8: Absorption of CAA/NATS charges for 2020-21
9: Airspace modernisation
10: Bring forward public procurement and accelerate public investment
“It’s estimated that it could take a number of years to get international travel figures up to 2019 levels. We’ve heard the warnings, and it is time for action.
“The scale of the challenges encountered by the aviation, travel and tourism sectors would have been unimaginable only six months ago.
“Through the adoption of these and other policy recommendations being made by the Future of Aviation Group, the Government can reduce the scale of disruption of COVID-19 on this important industry for Crawley and UK-wide.”
The Future of Aviation Group’s Aviation Recovery Plan can be read below.