The government’s new Aviation 2050 strategy needs to create a regulatory environment that helps the airline industry to grow sustainably, according to Airlines UK.

The organisation, which represents the UK’s 13 registered airlines, has responded to the government’s green paper on the strategy, ahead of the end of the consultation period today (20 June).

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said: “Airlines believe we need a strategy that meets the government’s stated ambition of promoting sustainable growth for our sector, which makes such a vital contribution to the UK’s social and economic life.

“We understand aviation has to earn the right to expand and that’s why we’re committed to halving our emissions by 2050, and working with national governments to agree an ambitious plan that can deliver a zero carbon future.”

Alderslade added that Airlines UK supported the creation of additional aviation capacity “where it is needed” in UK, as long as it does not lead to higher charges for passengers. Any expansion should also be “contingent upon the UK being able to meet its commitments on carbon reduction”.

Outgoing prime minister Theresa May has confirmed that the UK will commit to a legally binding “net zero” carbon target for 2050.

In its submission to the government, Airlines UK said that the government strategy should “support the delivery of Heathrow on time and with no additional costs to airlines, and ensure any domestic slots that are not used are available for general use”.

Airlines UK has also called for airside bars and pubs at UK airports to be licensed to “help prevent incidents of disruptive behaviour by introducing robust legal mechanisms to ensure the responsible sale and supply of alcohol in airports”.

It also wants to see legislation introduced to remove miniature bottles of alcohol from all airside duty-free shops at airports and make the use of sealed bags for alcohol purchases mandatory.

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