The UK government has asked for public input on the future of the country’s aviation strategy, including around technology.
The move comes as its new report, Beyond the horizon: The future of aviation, is launched. The report will play a key part in the face of one of the UK’s key industries as it grows over the next 30 years and beyond.
The strategy has six objectives: to improve the industry’s customer services; to ensure a safe and secure way to travel; to build a global and connected Britain; to encourage competitive markets; to support growth while tackling environmental impacts; and to develop innovation, technology and skills.
A key part of this is how the Government should support and regulate emerging technologies around personal travel.
Other suggested innovations include airport bag check-ins in town centres and a luggage ‘portering’ service. The public has the opportunity to give its thoughts on these initiatives and more.
Announcing the public consultation Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Aviation is central to our future prosperity as we leave the European Union.
“As a global, trading nation we want to build on the great industry we have today and create opportunities for people up and down the country.
“Our new aviation strategy will look beyond the new runway at Heathrow and sets out a comprehensive long-term plan for UK aviation. It will support jobs and economic growth across the whole of the UK.
“Our vision puts the passenger at the heart of what we do, but also recognises the need to address the impacts of aviation on communities and the environment.”
The discussion will run throughout 2017 and 2018, with publication of the final aviation strategy coming at the end of 2018.
The announcement comes as work begins on the £1bn 10-year Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP) as part of a plan to increase the number of long-haul flights from the northern transport hub.
The programme will combine state-of-the-art services with first-class customer service and double the size of terminal two. The deal represents the largest single private sector investment in the north of England, solidifying the city’s role as a centre of connectivity.
Charlie Cornish, Manchester Airports Group CEO, said: “Today, work will begin at Manchester Airport on a £1 billion investment programme that will provide passengers and airlines with world-class airport facilities, and deliver a major boost to the UK’s growth prospects and international competitiveness.
“We welcome the Secretary of State’s recognition of the important role that airports across the UK will play in driving economic growth, and commitment to looking at how airports like Manchester and London Stansted can make best use of their existing capacity.”