Stansted airport’s new CEO Ken O’Toole has called on the Government to develop a national aviation strategy that supports growth at all of the country’s airports and ensures that spare capacity is used “to generate the biggest positive impact for consumers and the economy.”
Speaking at the London Infrastructure Summit, O’Toole said he believes more can be done to improve the UK’s connectivity with the rest of the world to ensure it succeeds as an outward-facing trading nation as the country prepares to leave the EU.
“The UK is going to need the aviation industry to be at the top of its game over the next 10 to 15 years to build a prosperous and global Britain,” said O’Toole. “First and foremost, we need to ensure that we make the most productive and efficient use of the capacity we have already.
“We will shortly be applying to raise our planning cap so that we can make full use of our runway. Securing that approval would enable Stansted to meet 50 per cent of London’s expected passenger growth over the next decade, double our economic output to £2billion and create thousands of new jobs.”
O’Toole went on to explain that in order for the country to take full advantage of its airports, rail, road and air policies must be updated by the Government, adding that faster journey times from Stansted to London and Cambridge would make the hub more attractive as an alternative for long-haul airlines wishing to serve the capital.
He commented: “Stansted offers the ‘primary growth opportunity’ in the south over the next 15 years and business and passengers will reap the benefits with increased global connectivity, trade opportunities and more choice.”
O’Toole also reiterated industry calls for reform of Air Passenger Duty (APD), saying the fact that UK travellers pay the highest rate of tax inhibits demand and affects Britain’s ability to compete against global competitors.