Selected by the Committee part 1

Posted on: Thursday, 24 January 2013 by Mike Webb in categories Westminster, Environment, Air

Nobody can accuse the House of Commons Transport Committee (formerly known as the Transport Select Committee) of not hitting 2013 running. January will see a huge number of deadlines, evidence sessions and frantic considerations of written and oral evidence as it looks to fulfil its ambitious work programme through the middle of the current Parliament.

Indeed, the first week back after the Christmas and New Year break saw the deadlines for written submissions to two important inquiries on land transport security and the work of VOSA; and that in turn meant two important deadlines for FTA.

However, soon enough it was another inquiry that took centre stage; with FTA called into Parliament to give evidence as part of the Committee's thorough investigation of aviation policy. The importance of air freight to the UK economy cannot be overstated - not only do certain key services on which everyone relies such as the Royal Mail or the NHS rely on being able to move things quickly through the sky; but the economic value of the goods moved through the air is massive. Although air freight is only around two per cent of freight moved by volume, it is some 25 per cent of freight moved by value. Also, given the nature of emerging markets in the east it is the only way to move some products quickly enough to remain competitive in a global market.

These were the points that FTA impressed on the Committee members together with an explanation of which airports are most important for which services and why.

All too often the voice of freight is overlooked in preference of the needs of passengers; however it is important that policymakers remember how much the UK needs air freight, and how much worse the economic outlook would be without it.

FTA looks forward to reading the final Committee report when it is compiled later on in the spring, and this website will carry the FTA reaction.

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