UK Government Transport Secretary Chris Grayling today (17 December 2018) flew to Switzerland to sign an agreement that ensures air services will continue operating between the UK and Switzerland after Brexit.
The new bilateral deal guarantees the terms of the current EU-Switzerland agreement on air services, safeguarding the route that carried 6.8 million passengers by air in 2017 as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.
Grayling said: “The UK aviation sector is the biggest in Europe and will play an even more crucial role as we further develop as an outward looking global nation.
“These agreements will ensure Britain continues to prosper as we leave the EU and I’m confident the UK will reach a mutually beneficial deal, whilst we continue to prepare for all eventualities.”
Alongside this, the government today also launched the Aviation 2050 Consultation – a long-term plan for sustainable growth which it said “ensures the industry’s continued success”.
It proposes new measures to ensure the UK’s aviation sector continues to bring significant benefits to the UK economy and citizens up to 2050 and beyond, including a new passenger charter, practical requirements to reduce emissions and noise levels and more use of innovative technology.
Aviation is worth more than £22 billion to the UK economy through creating jobs, boosting growth and connecting regions. As passenger and freight demand increases, the consultation proposes a partnership for future sustainable growth.
The government said this will ensure the UK continues to benefit from a “world class choice of connections and airlines while tackling the environmental and community impacts of flights”.
The consultation also sets out how the government plans to modernise its airspace, ensuring journeys are quicker, cleaner and more efficient in the future, reducing congestion, noise and emissions and helping avoid future delays.
Proposals to support aviation growth in the consultation include setting out a framework for future sustainable growth; commitments to signing further liberal air service agreements with countries around the world to boost trade and tourism; measures to encourage greater competition and more choice for passengers and modernised UK airspace to improve efficiency and reduce delays.