Happy New Year. 2014 was an eventful year for the aviation industry, to say the least, in the UK and worldwide, so here Gary Mason, Airport Focus editor, makes a few wishes for 2015…
While the falling oil price will bring a welcome adjustment to the airline industry’s profit margins there is an urgent need to stimulate the market in the longer term, particularly within Europe where the economic recovery is stalling once more. Europe’s regional airports, in particular, require a boost.
In the UK there has been some progress on Air Passenger Duty with a children’s exemption. There is also a prospect that APD in Scotland may be abolished for all passengers. But more needs to be done to reduce the taxes on flying across the board.
This year the Airports Commission will make its final recommendations. But with an election looming how will this translate into political will and vision? Bold and decisive action is required.
The landscape and threat levels continue to change but the need for proper risk based processes and better harmonization of regulations and standards for a global business is stronger than ever. This must also cover immigration, visa and travel documents. Business people would prefer to transit through one airport rather than another due to simple differences in entry regulations if it means they can skip a process or requirement. Airports want to compete on quality of service but visa requirements are out of their control.
Some high profile tragedies have underlined the danger of complacency. International co-operation and Single Sky benefits have entered the mainstream news dialogue once again. But will it lead to anything concrete?