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UK aviation competitiveness: need to address IATA's challenges

In Jul-2019 IATA published a report on the air transport regulatory competitiveness of the UK. Assessing the UK on passenger facilitation, cargo facilitation, supply chain competitiveness, infrastructure and regulatory environment, IATA concluded that the UK was in line with the European average.

However, IATA identified three key challenges for the UK's aviation competitiveness: low runway capacity; high passenger taxes and airport charges; and high visa requirements and inefficient border procedures. IATA made common sense recommendations to tackle each of these.

The UK is Europe's biggest aviation market, but CAPA analysis shows that its growth is slowing. Its failure to keep pace with the growth of most of Europe's top 20 aviation markets is at least partly because of its inability to tackle these challenges.

The UK's new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has been a leading voice in campaigns to leave the EU and to oppose Heathrow expansion, the latter objection being partly on environmental grounds.

This suggests that IATA's recommendations to address the three challenges may not be top of Mr Johnson's populist 'to do' list.

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