Pandemic resilience and government support are top priorities for airport sector

posted on 15th November 2020 by Eddie Saunders
Pandemic resilience and government support are top priorities for airport sector

The AOA Annual conference held in partnership with Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, provided the aviation industry with a timely forum to present their strong and unified voice in the current challenging times.

With high profile speakers such as the Secretary of State for Transport, The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP and Shadow Transport Minister, Jim McMahon MP, alongside industry leaders, including CEOs from a wide number of airports, the conference focused on the aviation sector and the UK government’s response to COVID; the sector’s role in powering the UK economy; whilst the industry commits to delivering a sustainable aviation sector for a net zero world.

With airports in the UK facing an approximate £83m loss per week and not expected to fully recover until 2024/25, the conference highlighted the urgent need for a customised government strategy to support the industry’s survival post-COVID, alongside the sector’s opportunity to build back better and greener, as the UK’s aviation industry pioneers the path to decarbonisation.

Karen Larbey, Director of Strategy and Planning, Transportation Industry, Willis Towers Watson, said “We were delighted to partner with the AOA to deliver their annual conference. In such a challenging business environment, it is essential to work together in a spirit of true collaboration, across the aviation ecosystem.  Our Airport Risk Community brings together airports and industry stakeholders to discuss how best to tackle the major risks such as the current COVID-19 pandemic and climate risk, which are having a significant impact on airport resilience. Our ongoing partnership with the AOA, as well as our growing Airport Risk Community ensures we can provide a collaborative and critical business platform to discuss the current and emerging risks that threaten the aviation industry’s future growth.”

Karen Dee, Chief Executive, Airport Operators Association, said “2020 has been an enormously challenging year for UK airports: passenger numbers suffered a dramatic decline because of lockdown and then quarantine measures and, of course, revenues followed suit. In such circumstances AOA felt it was essential to bring the sector together both to share experiences and to plan a pathway to recovery. We were delighted that, with the support of our Corporate Partner, Willis Towers Watson, we were able to provide such a great line up of speakers and reach so many of our members. We look forward to continuing this important partnership.”

The event was attended by well over 500 delegates from the Willis Towers Watson Airport Risk Community as well as members of the Airport Operators Association and is part of Willis Towers Watson’s ongoing strategy to bring global connectivity to the airport sector.