Airport Operator Magazine - Spring
Peter Campbell, the AOA’s new Head of Public Affairs and Media, analyses the Chancellor’s Budget, welcomes the Government announcement on a Sustainable Aviation Fuels mandate and hopes that a calmer political environment may encourage the Government to listen to the AOA’s suggestions.
Jeremy Hunt, stood up to deliver his first Budget in March, it was a more straightforward affair.
That is not to say that the Chancellor did not have any challenges to face up to as he unveiled the Government’s upcoming financial policies. The underlying economic data showed there was still a long way to go before the UK had recovered from the impact of the pandemic and the effects of the war in Ukraine on energy costs and inflation.
The Budget would, the Chancellor said, tackle the UK’s productivity issues such as lower business investment and higher economic inactivity than other similar countries.
In terms of specific measures, the Chancellor announced changes to the yearly and lifetime pension allowances, something the AOA called for in its Budget submission.
There was no mention of another AOA priority, however, to allow airports to establish duty-free shopping stores for arriving passengers. We will continue to make the case that UK airports and the wider economy would benefit from enabling spending on duty-free allowances when
travellers have landed, rather than at foreign airports.
It was also disappointing that no additional support for airspace modernisation, which would enable more efficient routes to be flown, reduce stacking and lower emissions, was provided.
Announcements on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) were also absent from the Chancellor’s Budget, although statements and policies were unveiled as part of the Government’s subsequent ‘Green Day’ ahead of the Easter recess.