Earlier this summer the Government issued a call for evidence to guide the creation of a new national Aviation Strategy. The aviation sector is a key facilitator of business and regional economic growth. For the North West to truly prosper our ambitions must be international. This means we must be proactive in our efforts to tear down any barriers that prevent businesses in the regions access global markets.
The NWBLT has responded to the Aviation Strategy by engaging with the region’s airports. Manchester Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport are the North West’s gateway to the world and by extension it is through these gateways where the rest of the world will access the North West.
To ensure the North West has international reach our airports must be allowed to flourish and grow. There is clearly already progress here, both our airports are expanding and investing to ensure a smooth as possible experience for customers and to enable the creation of new routes around the world.
One of the fundamental issues that we have raised in our response to this call for evidence – a consideration shared by both of our region’s airports – is the inadequacy of rail and road transport infrastructure. Although HS2 will help Manchester Airport fulfil some of its spare capacity, there is a sense that for our airports to become true gateways for the entirety of the North there must be greatly improved cross-Northern transport infrastructure.
The NWBLT also shares the concern expressed by both Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Manchester Airport that as we leave the EU, there must be as little regulatory disruption – with regards to international treaties for example – as possible.
The NWBLT sees the Government’s creation of an Aviation Strategy as a good starting step to creating an aviation sector that works for airports, airlines, businesses and the wider community. We hope that the Government take the responses from ourselves at the NWBLT and the responses from our region’s airports into serious consideration. This will enable progress in the aviation sector to compliment the developments currently underway in the wider Northern Powerhouse initiative.