This response is made on behalf of the Planning Officers Society (POS) and the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT).
The Government intends to replace the 2003 White Paper, The Future of Air Transport, because it fails to give sufficient weight to the challenge of climate change or to the local environmental impacts of aviation. This scoping document defines the debate around three themes: aviation and the economy, aviation and climate change, and aviation and the local environment. It is intended to initiate the development of a long-term, high-level framework for aviation which, inter alia:
The Government believes air transport should contribute to the development of a greener transport system that will drive economic growth, striking a balance between the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of aviation. The clear challenge for the aviation industry is to control noise and emissions in order to grow within a "genuinely sustainable framework". However, despite recognising the need to give sufficient weight to the challenge of climate change and to the local environmental impacts of aviation, this consultation accepts continued reliance on an aviation industry that is itself substantially reliant on fossil fuels.
Despite the very favourable tax regime that air transport operates within in UK there is limited reference to taxation within this consultation. We strongly believe that there is little justification for special favours to the aviation industry in terms of taxes and other preferential treatment. In order fully to understand the current and potential contribution to the UK economy, the effects of taxation must be fully explored.