Stockton's Infinity Bridge

Supporting the future of North East aviation

19 October 2011

The Association of North East Councils (ANEC) has responded to the Department for Transport's consultation on the future of aviation, given the economic importance of Newcastle International and Durham Tees Valley Airport to the economic development and competitiveness of the North East. As regional airports, they play a fundamental role in providing access to worldwide markets for passengers and freight, in attracting inward investment and tourism, and in providing a range of domestic and international services that enable business to prosper and thrive.

The ANEC response draws attention to specific issues that the 12 North East councils have identified as being critical to the Government's thinking as it considers a future aviation policy. The importance of making better use of regional airport capacity is emphasised as being a real opportunity to bring about more balanced growth across the country.

North East authorities also underline their concerns about the disproportionately negative effect Air Passenger Duty (APD) has on regional airports and regional air services. Furthermore, ANEC member authorities are concerned that these negative consequences will be exacerbated by the potential devolution of APD in Scotland, which would enable the Scottish Government to offer incentives that airports in England would not be able to match.

We are also seeking a review of recent forecast figures for future air passenger growth. In all scenarios up to 2030, ANEC believes that Newcastle International's potential is significantly underplayed whilst forecasts suggest no growth at Durham Tees Valley Airport.

ANEC's response reaffirms North East local government's commitment to creating the conditions necessary for businesses to invest and grow and to supporting economic development, which will have benefits not just for the North East but for the country as a whole. In this context, the Association has stressed the extent to which national policy and decisions on transport infrastructure will significantly impact on councils' efforts to regenerate the North East.

View the ANEC response.

For further information please contact Bethan Hughes on 0191 261 3917 or 07957 823 864 (mobile); email bethan.hughes@northeastcouncils.gov.uk