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Published on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hammond: no to runways, yes to consultation

The coalition government is not anti-aviation but will not allow airports to get bigger, transport secretary Phillip Hammond told the industry at this week’s Airports Operators’ Association (AOA) annual conference.

During an impassioned speech, Hammond said there would still be room for discussion on aviation matters but asked those at the meeting to accept that there would be no plans for new runways.
He said: “I hope we can now draw a line under the decision we have taken on runways and work together to map out how best to secure the future of the sector within the constraints that we have accepted.’
Hammond plans to publish a draft policy document for formal consultation at the start of 2012.
He told those at the meeting: “I know, too, that some of you harbour fears that this government is somehow anti-aviation. So let me be clear. This government understands the social and economic benefits of aviation.

“We want to work with the industry to address the challenges of climate change so that aviation can play its part in securing sustainable future economic growth."
But AOA chairman Ed Anderson said there was still a need for a fairer tax system to replace APD, which is set to rise further from November 1.
He said the aviation industry paid far more in tax than other business sectors when APD was factored in and called for the tax to be dumped in 2012 when the European Emissions Trading Scheme will be brought in.
by Dinah Hatch


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